Fire and Police Residency Ordinance Fails

By: Stephen Johnson
By: Stephen Johnson

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- It was a unanimous vote. An ordinance to hire only Rockford residents to the city's police and fire departments was turned down tonight, meaning anyone, and anywhere can still apply for open positions.

Rockford's codes and regulations committee debated for more than an hour on the issue during tonight's meeting. If the ordinance was approved, six months of Rockford residency would have been a requirement for applicants.

Committee members expressed concern over the new rule, that once hired, employees could then move out of the city. Alderman Venita Hervey, who proposed the ordinance, says that with the current system, Rockford residents are already at a disadvantage.

"I defy anyone to show me or tell me why we cannot find 12 qualified firefighter candidates among the residents of Rockford. I really question the premise that people from Cherry Valley and Byron are qualified to be Rockford firefighters and protect Rockford citizens”, says Hervey.

Discussions about starting a cadet program for teenagers interested in becoming a part of the police and fire departments started up at the meeting as well. If that came to fruition, it sounds like it would be exclusive to Rockford residents.

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  • by Dave Location: Rockford on Nov 1, 2011 at 08:51 AM
    @Bignugly - If your going to work and be paid by a local tax base then you should live in the limits of the city and contribute. I guess I don't get how you don't see that. You must not own a home and see all the line items to pay for wage and pension associated with these jobs. You must rent while someone else pays. Either that or you are a firefighter from out of town that works here.
    • reply
      by lilncute on Nov 1, 2011 at 07:07 PM in reply to Dave
      have you ever had a job that causes people to hate you and judge you, just because of the job you do? Police officers do and I can fully understand why they'd want to live somewhere other than where they work, not just for their sake but for their families sake.
  • by Bignugly Location: Rockford on Nov 1, 2011 at 06:18 AM
    That has to be one of the dumbest ideas this board has ever proposed. they are in the middle of contract negotiations and they want to add rules. Anyone can apply for the jobs available and if they qualify, they get it, regardless where they live.
  • by Rich on Oct 31, 2011 at 08:18 PM
    This town is a joke...know wonder people laugh at us..CNN is going to do a aritcle on this town and the rest of the country will see how ridicloius this town is...
  • by don on Oct 31, 2011 at 08:08 PM
    they would work here but we pay them our tax dollars I don't think so.. See people this town is a mess always has been and always will be. Every one that works in this town and makes low wages payes the fat salaries of people here they decide what you do..remember that when voting starts again
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