Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey uses a group talk with the business community to announce plans for a new crime initiative. It came as part of Morrissey's annual mayor's luncheon.
The event is a chance to speak with business leaders and also focus on ways to improve the city. While jobs were top of mind, a lot of people wonder how Rockford can keep the jobs it has while it deals with violent crime issues.
"Being in the 9th ward I have a high level of crime over there and my people are worried for their safety," says Alderman Teena Newburg.
"We've proposed having a public safety committee and that's the platform that we would like to hear more on the policing in Rockford and the crime in Rockford," says Alderman Joseph Chiarelli.
Aldermen Newburg and Chiarelli came to the annual mayor's luncheon with questions. The two are new to city council but say business growth and development comes when crime is under control. During Mayor Morrissey's speech to business leaders he promised action.
"We are very close to doing is announcing a violent crime task force that will be made up of state, local and federal officials that will have, that I'm pushing for is an element of openness and transparency so that we can address as a team the concerns of our citizens," says Mayor Morrissey.
And teaming up is not being left just to the police agencies. Mayor Morrissey wants something similar to happen in the business community.
"It's very important that our private sector and our business leadership is part of what it takes to move us forward," says Mayor Morrissey.
The annual mayor's luncheon is usually an event put on by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce. This year it was changed into a campaign event by the Mayor. Morrissey says he needed the money to help pay for this last election.
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