Local police look to create transparency through public forums

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — In an effort to promote transparency between the community and law enforcement, Winnebago County leaders are opening up the lines of communication and asking for your input.

“We want as a department to be transparent,” said Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana.

The Winnebago County Virtual Public Safety Community forum touched on a wide range of topics.

“Here we are, here’s what we’re doing and we always have been and I think we need to build on in this time and the situations that are happening currently in our community and the United States, we want to make sure that we let everyone know we’re training the correct way,” Sheriff Caruana explained.

Officer training was the first point of discussion, along with body cameras.

“They go through so much training, de-escalation training and there’s like 30 skill sets that they have to do. They have to do through three times to be able to be released from the Field Training Officer program,” the sheriff said.

“We’ve had the body cams for six weeks, we have them up in the jail which is great because it preserves the truth and that’s what I wanted,” Sheriff Caruana explained.

The Winnebago County Crime and Public Safety Commission explained how it is researching crime in the community.

“We do interviews, we do best practice research and we have meetings with a lot of the stakeholders locally that are involved in law enforcement,” explained Armanda Cardenas, the chairman of the Winnebago County Crime and Public Safety Commission. “Once we have that information, we put it together and come up with a recommendation.”

Local leaders say the ultimate goal of this discussion is to show that law enforcement is listening.


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