Rockford Welcomes New Police Officers

Fifteen new police officers being sworn in. Mayor Larry Morrissey, Chief Chet Epperson and other police officials in attendance. Loved ones also snapping pictures of the special moment.


Chief Chet Epperson of the Rockford Police Department says "it's an awesome responsibility you know helping people but really fulfilling and protecting the civil rights of everyone that you come in contact with."


The ceremony gets the city of Rockford closer to full staff, and puts more feet on the beat in the fight against crime. However many questions still remain.


Like whether officers will switch to twelve hour workdays, like the mayor wants or stay at the current ten.


Mayor Larry Morrissey says "somebody asked me if there is a middle ground, I said between ten and twelve we're not picking eleven. That's no more efficient then a ten hour shift."


Terry Peterson of the Rockford Police Union countered "when you start getting into twelve hour shifts, we feel not only is there judgment impairment but you are placing guys in very high stressful situations giving the climate in Rockford."


So with the mayor and the union seeming to be at a stalemate on the issue, what happens next?


The two sides have another bargaining session on Friday. In the meantime, the search for new recruits continue within the next couple of days.


Chief Epperson says "we anticipate some additionally openings, right now we have five so we anticipate some additional openings, we'll have another class within a few months."

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