Rockford aldermen, mayor clash on how geographic policing should - – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford aldermen, mayor clash on how geographic policing should move forward

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Areas 5, 6 and 7 represent Pilot Police District Areas 5, 6 and 7 represent Pilot Police District

Geographic policing will transform how officers patrol Rockford streets. It divides the police department into three districts. The project's already started, but there's a lot left to figure out. Some aldermen are against passing the 2013 spending plan until they get answers. Rockford's mayor says, it seems like, council members aren't asking questions when they should.

As the majority of aldermen cast seven 'no' votes to the 2013 budget Monday night, Mayor Larry Morrissey could see a disconnection.

"If somebody had something they didn't like about the budget, that was their time to speak and it's crazy to me that you can hear from an alderman after the council meeting talking to a reporter about their thoughts, when in the public forum when they could have done something about it there wasn't a word." -says Mayor Larry Morrissey.

Geo-policing starts with a pilot district. It'll be in District 2, west-to-east from the Rock River to 20th Street, north-to-south from around the Auburn Street Bridget to down by the airport. Some city council members want to know where the pilot district site will be located.

"That's something that we'll work on this year. We don't have to have all those questions answered before we start moving forward with our budget." -says Morrissey.

Aldermen also want to know when the department will move out of the Public Safety Building.

"It'll probably happen in phases, in other words we won't leave that entire building at once, we'll leave in phases over the course of this year and maybe into next year." -Morrissey adds.

Morrissey says this project moves forward, regardless of aldermen's approval. But, there is a $380,000 building maintenance increase in the 2013 budget for the pilot district's site.

Pilot Police District Commander Lt. Douglas Pann says geo-policing is still in the planning stages, but the police department is currently practicing geo-policing strategies.

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