Mayoral Candidates Face-Off In Debate on Reducing Crime in Rockford


The four candidates running for mayor were asked what they would do to reduce Rockford’s violent crime rate.

A topic of concern for many citizens and leaders in the city.

Republican candidate Brian Leggero says it takes community involvement

“It takes a community to solve those problems,” said Leggero. “We need to get more youth programs, more support organizations like one hundred strong, the fatherhood encouragement project, and get out in our community.”

Democratic candidate Tom McNamara  says personnel is key.

Having more eyes around means more opportunity to solve issues.

“We need more personnel in our police department, not just officers, but citizen personnel to help ease the reports,” said McNamara. “We need more training technology. I proposed a budget  this past year that doubled the amount of training dollars in our budget.  

Independent candidate Ronnie Manns suggests surveillance can help increase reports of violent crime

“One of the reasons why very few people stand up and point out who is committing crime in their neighborhood is they’re worried about retaliation. Well if the camera becomes your eyewitness that no longer becomes the case.”

Rudy Valdez, also running as an independent, suggests placing officers in hot spots to curb crime within our neighborhoods.

He says a trusted officer can encourage citizens to come forward with important information.
“A police officer actually lives in a high crime area and he lives there 24/7,” said Valdez. “He becomes the beat cop, he patrols the area, he gets to rebuild trust in the community and then together we can start addressing the crime in those areas with the help of the community.”

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