It was the end of an era for the City of Rockford today. Chet Epperson retiring after nearly a decade as Rockford Police Chief, and more than 30 years on the force.
“The time now has come to say goodbye,” Epperson said during his speech Friday afternoon. “I will cherish the memories of good and bad. As good is to be repeated and bad is to be avoided in the future.”
Dozens of people turned out to City Hall to wish Epperson farewell and thank him for his service, including members of the Westgate Coalition, the NAACP, and the Rockford Fire Department.
Former NAACP President Lloyd Johnston praised Epperson for making big strides when it comes to police and community relations.
“Chief Epperson always looked for solutions,” Johnston said. “‘How can I make things better?’”
As Epperson says goodbye to the Rockford Police Department, he says he knows it will be in good hands.
“They’ll pick the best and the brightest chief, and we should all get behind them and support them,” Epperson said.
And he has one final message for the City of Rockford.
“I just want to thank the residents of Rockford, the citizens of Rockford, affording me 33 and a half years to serve as a police officer. It’s just been a great, great wonderful career.”