What some Rockford aldermen call a balanced budget has had some unbalanced opinions about one item regarding geographic policing. The city's moving forward with this initiative to split the police department into thirds. Monday night, city council members came to an agreement on the $320 million 2013 spending plan for the most part. Aldermen have voted it down twice in the past few weeks. It's amended this time, but even that change didn't bring with it unanimous support. It passed 11-1, with 13th Ward Alderman Linda McNeely voting no. 14th Ward Alderman Bill Robertson has been absent due to illness.
Aldermen Frank Beach and Carl Wasco want answers. City council members approved their amendment giving administrators 60 days to complete a fiscal impact analysis of moving police into the geographic policing model permanently.
"It's not about just this year, it's where are we going and can we afford it?" -says Wasco.
They're also asking for a look at the cost of officers staying in the Public Safety Building. Alderman McNeely believes the city doesn't have enough money to fund new locations. She'd like to see the department work with what it has now.
"I don't think that we have the manpower to support three different locations so to me, what I think would be best for the city, is to take those fundings, we would own the property, we'd rehab it and then we'd have more funding also for more police officers." -she says.
Once aldermen get this analysis back, that'll determine their support for geo-policing.
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