Alderman Debate Merits of New Policing Model

By: Jessica Geraci Email
By: Jessica Geraci Email

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A plan to shut down Rockford’s Public Safety Building and move officers to multiple buildings across the Forest City isn't sitting well with some aldermen. Many of them want to get more officers on the streets before moving police operations into new buildings across the city.

The proposed geographic policing plan would re-organize officers into three districts with three different headquarters across the city. Rockford's police chief says this model provides a consistent supervisor for officers and would reduce travel time and costs to and from patrol areas. Some aldermen say this is a good idea, if there are enough officers on the ground.

“If you look at the data and you take a city the size of Rockford and the number they suggested, 2.2 per thousand that puts us at 341 and we're far from there,” says Alderman Frank Beach (R- 10th Ward).

Another concern among some of the aldermen, they think instead of saving the city money, this plan could cost the city more money. There may end up being more than 3 police buildings so the department has space to house records, evidence, and training materials.

Rockford's mayor says the pilot program for geographic policing will start at the beginning of 2013.

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