Fire and Police Commission

By: Rebekah Baum
By: Rebekah Baum

The commissioners would have the responsibility of selecting the next police chief and some city council members are questioning the nominations.

On Monday, 10 of Mayor Morrissey's nominees for several city boards will come before city council. Alderman Jeff Holt says it's only one set, the 3 nominees for the fire and police commission, which are causing some alderman to raise questions. The biggest issue he says is continuity.

"Chief Pugh is retiring. There's three commissioners that have experience hiring two police chiefs, and now we're going to remove all three of those individuals, and put three brand new people on there that know nothing about the process, and have never been involved," says Alderman Jeff Holt.

Holt says some alderman feel that the nominees, specifically Jim Powers, are positioned too close to Morrissey’s Administration...

"He does have a great resume, and great experience, however, he is very close to this Mayor. He started out in new administration, working in Mayor's office. I believe that may be too close for him to serve on commission without being influenced by the Mayor and his administration," says Holt.

"It would be a disservice to the community to appoint three people I don't know and have no background with. And if they didn't support me as Mayor, how would I have any hope and trust they can understand my philosophy, so the city of Rockford is getting service that I'm going to be held accountable for," says Mayor Larry Morrissey.

Holt says the city council has an obligation to consent to the appointments but he says some alderman have valid questions and concerns. He says retaining some of the commissioners and staggering the new appointments would be a better option.

The current Board of Fire and Police Commissioners are Mariel Henke, Forest Price and Jamie Swenson-Cassel.


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