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Geo Policing Pilot Program Set to Start in January

<span style="font-family: Arial; font-size: 10pt;">It's a hot button issue that has city leaders and residents talking; geographic policing and the future of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Rockford</st1:place></st1:city> officers.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></span><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> </font>

The geographic policing pilot project is set to begin January 1st, 2013. It's the start of breaking up Rockford's police department into three precincts. And what supporters say is crucial to building better relationships and trust between officers and residents. The location of those three precincts will be throughout the city.

 

Mayor Larry Morrissey could not confirm those locations saying real estate is the last piece in the plan.

 

The city hopes to have the police department out of the public safety building by fall of next year. It's a move away from Rockford's old model of policing and limited access for citizens.

   

Mayor of Rockford Larry Morrissey explained "the idea is to get out of a centralized building into the community where the work needs to be done."

 

5th Ward Alderman Venita Hervey said "we also need to look as Rockford grows as we increase and mass becoming more efficient in the way we deploy our officers and access citizens have to officials."

 

Logistics still have to be worked out such as the number of officers at each station and pay. The Rockford police union is pushing for hazard pay for officers who work on the city's west side.

 

City leaders saying that's not helpful, but more hurtful to the community and the overall goal of the new policing model.

 

The Winnebago County Board is responsible for the Public Safety Building once police have completely moved out. The board is currently accepting bids for its demolition.

 

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