Rockford Police to Help at NATO Summit

By: Meghan Dwyer
By: Meghan Dwyer

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The City of Chicago doesn't have enough police officers to take on the NATO Summit this weekend so officers from all around the state will be pitching in to help with security.

Rockford Police will be sending eight officers into the chaos on Saturday and the sheriff's department will be sending two deputies: some with specialized weapons and tactics training. Twelve local officers overall will be deployed.

They are part of a regional group called the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System which is made up of different law enforcement agencies from across the state. They help local officers during major times of crisis or need, like during Hurricane Katrina or national conventions. Chicago Police will be on the front lines most of the time, but local officers will provide back up support and help with traffic and crowd control.

Chief Chet Epperson said, "There's going to have to be a tremendous amount of restraint by the officers, to take the sort of heckling and the protests that take place, we've experienced some of that with our occupy incident a couple of weeks ago."

Chicago Police will pay local officers for their services, but they don't have to give them uniforms or gear. The ILEAS has all of the equipment they'll need.

They police won’t explain their assigned duties specifically, but they won't really be on the front line. Chicago Police will be making most of the arrests, so an officer who isn't from Chicago wouldn't have to travel back to Chicago to testify in court.

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