Winnebago County Sheriff's police suit up to arrest a murder suspect outside of their jurisdiction. Thursday, we told you Anthony Jefferson barricaded himself inside a Rockford home for hours. Jefferson is accused of killing 34 year-old Jason Reid in South Bend earlier this week. U.S. Marshals found him inside a residence on the corner of North Court St. and Palm St., but they needed help to make the arrest. We found out why the county's SWAT team responded instead of Rockford police's SWAT team.
"We got a request directly from the U.S. Marshal Service to bring our SWAT team in. They said they had requested one from the City of Rockford and for whatever reason that was declined." -says Winnebago County Sheriff Richard Meyers.
Meyers says the scenario on North Court Street required SWAT assistance and hostage negotiators to communicate with Jefferson.
"That was done just by voice to begin with a loudspeaker we have, but then we inserted a throw phone into the system which has a camera on it."
According to Meyers, the county's team was made up of about 25 officers, some who were already on patrol, some who were off-duty.
"There's no conflict between us and the city or anybody else. We simply answered a request for assistance. We had our commanders let the city know that we had been asked and were going to consider doing that. We asked if they were going to send their team in and we were advised through the order given that they weren't going to send their SWAT team. So, under those scenarios, we were cleared to go." -he adds.
Jefferson is currently being held in the Winnebago County Jail. Rockford Police Department Lt. Pat Hoey says the reason RPD declined the U.S. Marshals' request for a SWAT team had to do with available resources. RPD didn't have enough personnel to spare to assemble a SWAT team. According to Lt. Hoey, about a dozen Rockford officers were at the scene; the rest of RPD's force was patrolling other parts of the city.
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