Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey and City Attorney Patrick Hayes swore-in Dan O’Shea as the city’s next police chief at a cermony at City Hall on Monday evening.
The former Elgin police commander spoke to residents during the ceremony, about improving transparency and reducing violent crime.
O’Shea says, “One of the first things we’ve got to work on [is] interaction and inter-agency involvement with the county sheriff the FBI the DEA. I want to utilize all the resources we can get.”
The new chief took time to meet with residents and city officials, and says they made it clear what the department’s main focus should be.
“The residents, they spoke clearly when I was looking forward to this job, that they want to reduce violent crime. They want to be more involved with the police department. They want more transparency, and they want us to work on some juvenile initiatives. I’m prepared to lead this organization to take on that mission.”
Many current and former Rockford police officers were in attendance. The city’s last chief, Chet Epperson, constantly battled with the police union, and received a “no confidence” vote from his officers.
Police Union President Aurelio DeLaRosa says, “We’ve been through the old stuff of 276-6 [no confidence vote] and I’m excited. Our members are excited that we’re finally going to be the department that we’re supposed to be.”
He says the officers are looking forward to working with O’Shea on transforming Rockford.
He says, “It’s a clean slate. Wwe are not here to pass judgment on this chief, and we are going to get him every opportunity that he asks for, because we want him to be successful.”