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Rockford leaders and residents discuss issues within the community

City leaders, residents and protesters all met at District One Police Headquarters to share what their vision of change within the community would look like.
Rockford residents packed District One Police Headquarters Tuesday evening to talk change with city leaders.
Rockford residents packed District One Police Headquarters Tuesday evening to talk change with city leaders.(WIFR)
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 9:37 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Rockford residents packed District One Police Headquarters Tuesday evening to talk change with city leaders.

“We’re not where we want to be, we’re not where we need to be or where our citizens deserve us to be, but we’re absolutely making progress in the right direction," said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.

Topics on the table included mental health, domestic violence and human trafficking.

‘We’re gonna recognize that the blame has to go exactly where the blame should go and that’s on the shoulders of the purchasers because they’re driving the demand for this industry that keeps the traffickers out there looking for people and so education is the very first most solid step that we can do," said Jennifer Cacciapaglia, Manager of the Mayor’s Office for Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking.

Protesters gathered outside voicing their concerns within the community.

“To make sure that the community members and the police department and elected officials are on the same page and that we are all in agreement that peaceful protests is a constitutional right and its a right that will be upheld by the City of Rockford,” said community activist Leslie Rolfe.

Leaders say the more conversation the better.

“We want as much community engagement as we can possibly get for all decisions," said McNamara. "We ultimately work for the citizens and so its imperative that we’re listening to them.”

The next round table discussion is on September 17 beginning at 5:30 at District One Police Headquarters. Capacity is limited to 50 people inside to follow social distancing guidelines.

Copyright 2020 WIFR. All rights reserved.

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