Rockford's new police chief has been on the job for about a week and he's already proposing some big changes for the cast-strapped department.
Chief Steve Pugh says he wants five deputy chiefs. He says this will bring focus and specialization to department and help reduce crime.
Currently the Rockford Police Department has two deputy chiefs and two assistant deputy chiefs. Chief Pugh wants five deputy chiefs for the department to oversee five distinct areas of operation.
"The community wants the police to respond faster to issues and reduce crime. I think reorganization is a way to address that,” says Pugh.
State law allows for up to six deputy chiefs, but a city ordinance limits the Rockford police department to two. Chief Pugh is asking the city council to change that, "Hopefully the benefit will be fewer unsolved crimes and a reduction in the crime rate."
Pugh says the reorganization won't cost the department any money because the department would eliminate two of its eight lieutenants. “I can't guarantee it will work but it's worth the effort,” Pugh adds.
The city council finance and personnel committee will review the proposal on Tuesday.
Chief Pugh says no one should lose their jobs as a part of the shuffle. He says one lieutenant post will now be a sergeant level job, and a lieutenant position that is currently open will not be filled. Pugh also says he took the proposal to Mayor Doug Scott last week and the mayor approves of the plan.