Mayor Defends Police Chief After Newspaper Calls for Epperson Resignation

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Rockford's mayor says he's standing by the head of our city's police department as more calls for his resignation echo, this time from the Rockford Register Star.

The paper published an editorial on Sunday saying the entire issue is distracting police from making sure our city is safe and the paper now is calling on Epperson to resign.

This is all stemming from an incident last October involving Rockford NAACP president Lloyd Johnston and the chief where the Rockford police union claims Epperson told Johnston not to let officers into his house as they were responding to a welfare check. The union is calling on Rockford's Board of Fire and Police Commissioners to review the chief's actions that night and for the chief to be disciplined.

The paper's column claims "with crime ranking as the top concern of participants in public meetings... it simply makes no sense to retain a chief who has so polarized the police force and the community it serves" claiming the time is now for Epperson to step down.

The chief was at tonight's city council meeting. Mayor Larry Morrissey gave his overwhelming support to the city's top cop saying rifts between police chiefs and union leaders are nothing new.

"I fully support the chief and I will not ask for him to resign," said Mayor Morrissey. "We simply cannot tolerate a divide and conquer tactic."

Johnston has said the union's claims about any alleged misconduct from the chief are just wrong. and he's said that from the very beginning. He claims the chief never told him to tell officers to go away.

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