Protestors speak at city council for third straight week about v - – Rockford’s News Leader

Protestors speak at city council for third straight week about violence against black community

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Fighting for what you believe in, that's the theme city leaders and members of the public carried with them at Rockford's city council meeting.

For the third week in a row, some of the same people involved in November's "March For the Kids" came to city council to address the issues of violence towards the black community. Some aldermen agree it's a topic that needs attention.

"The individuals that are coming here, they're concerned enough to come and speak before this body." -says 13th Ward Alderman Linda McNeely.

1st Ward Alderman Tim Durkee spoke up for the first time publicly on protestor's demands for a federal investigation and Chief Chet Epperson's resignation. He believes both are uncalled for and says our city's racial issues can be solved by setting better examples for younger generations.

"Very simple things can be done, read to your kids, turn off the TV, take them to church. In our public schools, you look at their curriculum, nobody teaches citizenship anymore, what it means to be a member of a community." -says Durkee.

Also on Monday night's agenda, city council members entered into closed session to discuss collective bargaining. An arbitration with the Rockford Fire Department is scheduled for Thursday.

"We're looking for ultimately the ability to manage our department and our entire organization the way our taxpayers expect us to do that." -says Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey.

Mayor Morrissey also took time to update the geo-policing situation. Chief Chet Epperson should announce in the next few weeks who the city's first district commander will be. 2013 is set to be a transitional year with the police department moving out of the Public Safety Building along the same timeline as the Winnebago County's Sheriff's Department.

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