Meet Officer Eddie Torrance: An Officer Who Grew up at Fairgrounds

By: Meghan Dwyer
By: Meghan Dwyer

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- One of the other things the Rockford Housing Authority other than breaking ground on new projects has been doing is promoting its most inspiring residents.

Officer Eddie Torrance of the Rockford Police Department grew up at Fairgrounds. His address was 1032 School Street. While most of the stories we tell you about the projects can be depressing, this one is different.

A Fairgrounds resident said, "What cha'll talking about?”

Torrance said, “Talking about me when I lived out here.”

“You used to live out here?”

“Right here.”

“Oh yeah?”

“What are you, gonna be a sergeant or something?”

“I’m already a sergeant."

Meet Eddie Torrance. He's a guy with a story so inspiring the Rockford Housing Authority made a video about him.

He said, "I should wear a badge that says, ‘hey I grew up in the projects,’ so people could see, you know, there's a way out. I mean you can get out. You've just got to put your mind toward it."

Torrance grew up in the projects. His mom, a single mother of four boys, put herself through school to become a nurse.

He said, "I benefited from the fact that I knew she was going out to do something and I figured I could do something different with myself too. I used to look outside and always see the sirens wailing by down on Whitman Street and I always told myself hey, that's what I want to do."

That's exactly what he did. He’s been with the Rockford Police Department since 1994 patroling his old stomping grounds.

He said, "Everytime I see a young girl out there or a young guy out that says, ‘hey you don't know what it's like to be a young black person down here in Fairgrounds,’ I can tell them ‘I was, I was there.’”

Now if you'd like to see more of that videos like Torrance’s just log on to the Rockford Housing Authority website. There's a lot of inspiring stories on there of people who got on with their lives and moved onto bigger and better things

Sargent Torrance says he attended Western Illinois University, but came back home because he wanted to give something back to the place he grew up.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Lydia Location: Belvidere on Jan 20, 2012 at 08:11 AM
    Mr. Torrance you are a fine example of a man, keep up the good work. And, kudos to your mom. God bless you and your family. Love this story, keep looking up!
  • by Anonymous Location: Rockford on Jan 20, 2012 at 05:04 AM
    If he were white and came out of the projects you think they would be doing the same story? Not!
  • by Really? on Jan 19, 2012 at 02:44 PM
    Well Done Lad!
  • by Linda Location: Rockford on Jan 19, 2012 at 02:24 PM
    What a great story. Considering the majority of families are single parent households, mainly women, Mr. Torrance and other men can inspire children (& their parents) to not be afraid to dream of a better life. It takes work but it is worth it.
  • by old guy Location: freeport on Jan 19, 2012 at 10:19 AM
    Good for him and everyone that helped him along his way.This should be a roll model to young men growing up in the same environment.This the kind of story most people would like to see more of.The best of luck in the future.
  • by Laura Location: rockford on Jan 19, 2012 at 09:15 AM
    I love this story!! God bless him and his hard working mother. You dont have to be "ghetto" just because you may have grown up what the label as "the ghetto"...if you want more for yourself, there are so many resources out there that can help you achieve all of your dreams and goals. :)
  • by Dewaine Location: Rockford on Jan 19, 2012 at 06:02 AM
    Good for Officer Eddie Torrence and his mother.
  • by SJ Location: Rockford on Jan 18, 2012 at 07:35 PM
    What a great and positive idea. Funny that there are no comments on this story, but not surprising. Comments only seem to come on the negative stories where Rockford residents can play the blame game. I commend Officer Torrance for not only taking the difficult road instead of the easy one, but more importantly he is using his own experiences to positively influence many that face tough choices and must endure negative peer pressure. What a great example for all of rockford. Thank you Officer Torrance, you and you brothers in blue are appreciated.
  • by Carla Location: Byron on Jan 18, 2012 at 04:03 PM
    Eddie you mean the world to Jory and I, my son will never forget you. You are an amazing person, a son that is a mothers dream, love ya Eddie. Carla and Jory
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