Second ward candidates discuss geo-policing - – Rockford’s News Leader

Second ward candidates discuss geo-policing


General elections are a little more than two weeks away. The three candidates running for second ward alderman are busy campaigning door to door.

Current second ward Alderman Pat Curran won't be running for re-election this time around. Instead you'll see three new names on the April 9th ballot. Each say, if  elected, they'll come to city council meetings ready to make decisions on hot topics like geo-policing.

"I think the fact that officers will be involved in the communities, especially with younger residents so that they can start to realize, the police, they aren't bad people. obeying the law is not a bad thing,"  says Republican candidate Jamie Getchius. Getchius adds, he would work to keep the transition process cost effective for taxpayers.

 But Democratic candidate Melvin Miller opposes the idea. "I need numbers, I need to know how much it's going to cost taxpayers. I can't just go and say ' well yeah let's vote.' I'd say 'Save the money on those and hire more police officers.' I think if we have more police officers, you're going to find that they'll be able to go out and expand into the areas that we have high crime," says Miller.  

The third candidate, Elliott Kallstrom, an Independent, likes the theory behind geo-policing, but wants officers to be more involved in the planning process. "Cause it bothers me that the police officers are funning all these advertisement against it. It sounds like the administration and the officers aren't getting along right now in terms of that. I think if we're going to go geo police I think the cops should be a part of how we implement it. and I think that's an important key to this whole thing," says Kallstrom.

Three more wards are guaranteed to see a new face representing them in city council after this election. Carl Wasco with ward 4, and Bill Timm, ward 9 will not seek re-election. And the late Bill Robertson with ward 14's seat will remain empty until after April 9th.

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