Almost 50 Rockford Police Officers Could Lose Badges Due to Budget Cuts

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Anywhere from 18 to 49 Rockford police officers could lose their badges due to budget cuts. But the police union says they're already experiencing major staffing problems.

Terry Peterson, Rockford Police Union President, "There are huge philosophical differences in the way we do things. These guys are in the front lines in the trenches and we're the ones that are at risk by not having the resources we need."

One of those resources is inmate transport vans. The number of them was cut in half last year. So now instead of relying on designated officers to pick up the newly arrested, the arresting officer frequently takes them to jail, and could get tied up with paperwork, making them unavailable to fight crime. Despite this complaint, staffing levels are looking grim.

Chief Chet Epperson, Rockford Police, "I don't want to lose officers, and maybe we could gain some back, but the stark reality nationwide is every community or municipality is having to make cuts across the board."

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  • by doug Location: rockford on Oct 10, 2011 at 07:21 PM
    i agree lets get rid of morrisey and have the police union leader run for mayor so he can negotiate the next union contract for the city...
  • by Barf on Oct 10, 2011 at 01:21 PM
    At least we have millions for the riverwalk and roundabouts. OOOOPS-thats right its the mayors money. That why we don't have home rule.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 10, 2011 at 12:58 PM
    The mayor needs to go, has he done anything for Rockford?
  • by Greg on Oct 10, 2011 at 09:41 AM
    This town is a dump..yeah rents cheap so its nice on younger people but I'll pay the extra few hundred a month to not be in this slum any longer. Fewer police is going to put the Crooks in control
  • by Good Gun Guy Location: Rockford on Oct 10, 2011 at 09:37 AM
    What is badly needed here is a concealed weapons law like most other states have so that citizens have the ability to defend and protect themselves. God knows the police are too short handed to protect you. I'm already afraid to leave my house after dark. Soon I'll be afraid to go out during the day too.
  • by Brian Wilmot Location: Loves Park on Oct 10, 2011 at 09:36 AM
    maybe what the mayor needs to do is quit spending money on his frilly pet projects and put that money towards more useful area's, like keeping police officers. Maybe he could just cancel all the under performing TIF districts as well (in upwards of 25) and quit wasting money on all these analysts and crap. But it wont happen. And as i recall, the last time he was threatening to lay off a lot of police, he just found the money to keep them, hmmmm which in turn he was in the news praising his efforts to make himself look like the hero. Lawrence, just do Rockford a favor and just step down as mayor so we dont have to go another year or so and wait for election time. But im sure of the potential layoffs you are threatening, im sure the officers that you have guarding your house every minute of the day wont be on that list. What are you gonna do after your term is up for protection, you gonna get a private security firm to guard your house becaus im sure that the RPD will not be pulling security for you.
  • by Newcomer Location: Loves Park on Oct 10, 2011 at 09:30 AM
    I wonder if they have considered civilianizing some positions such as prisoner transport? Another city I lived in had civilian employees taking desk reports and even handling reports at property damage crash scenes freeing certified officers for more urgent calls. Saying no to ideas like this are the type of situation where the police unions can cut off their own nose and indirectly jeopordize officer safety.
  • by Me on Oct 10, 2011 at 09:14 AM
    You gotta be kidding me.just what we need to make it to #1 on the list.why dont the people that sit on the office downtown take a cut instead?
  • by Dave Location: Rockford on Oct 10, 2011 at 08:26 AM
    Though we need both police and fire it is really tough for me to see how they have budget problems when I look at my tax bill. There is so much waste across the board that is not even looked at and then they come with this crap as a solution. Call this what it is. Fear mongering the public. Here's an idea...From top to bottom get rid of the waste. Get rid of that extra secretary that is doing nothing. Yank the city vehicles from those that abuse them and do not need them. Cut the pay of the top overpaid brass. Scrutinize the upper personell credit cards for all the abuse that is going on. Pull in a mayor that wastes money on trips to China.Call those trips what they are, financial malfeasence. He is using tax payers money for travel to promote his own political agenda. I think if those things were looked at there would be another 10 million rolling around in the budget.
  • by Downtown Resident Location: Rockford on Oct 9, 2011 at 11:18 PM
    Before you know it, neighborhood watch will become neighborhood militia or neighborhood minutemen. More criminals will be shot and killed during the commission of their crime(s), Anti-gun activists will decend on Rockford like locusts and eventually the politicians will make Illinois the first state to deny Americans the right to bear arms.

    Perfectly brilliant.
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