Rockford eyes new locations for geo policing sites - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford eyes new locations for geo policing sites

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

Part of the city of Rockford's move toward a community policing strategy calls for officers to move out of the Public Safety Building.

The three sites are spread throughout the city and while many city leaders would not confirm that they are looking at those buildings 4th Ward Alderman Carl Wasco did.

"They haven't made the final decision, but know that it's out there I think people have the right to know."

The first site is on 7th Street across from Rockford Public Schools headquarters, the second on South Winnebago near the current PSB and the third is on Grant Avenue on the city's northwest side.

Wasco says he's behind the geographic policing plan, but worried about how much it will cost the community

"In the end I think citizens want to see officers in their area by district. It looks to be a good operation in Madison I like that model up there, it's just that they grew and so did their budget. You just have to keep it within budget," said Wasco.

Mayor Larry Morrissey says geo policing is the right strategy for Rockford and gets the city the most bang for it's buck.

"Literally we want to be located in neighborhoods as close to the crime and the assets and the resources as possible. That means connecting deeply with the community members that we have."

He believes this plan can put an end to calls coming into 9-1-1 centers by preventing crimes and being present in communities.

"It's a lot more about building relationships than it is about trying to be the toughest person on the block," said Morrissey.

Morrissey says as options are solidified they'll come before the city council and the community. He expects that presentation before the end of the year. He wants the police department out of the PSB as soon as possible, but says a realistic date is the middle of 2013.

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