Rockford City Leaders Respond to Rash of Violence


Rockford has had a violent start to 2017.  Now, Rockford city leaders are responding.

“I’ve had people calling all weekend long,” 8th Ward Ald. Jeanne Oddo (D) said on Tuesday.  “[People are saying] this is unacceptable in our city.”

City leaders are angry over the recent outbreak of gun violence in Rockford.  The focus remains on the deadly shooting at Cliffbreakers Riverside Resort, where one person was killed on New Year’s Day, and three others were hurt. 

Police Chief Dan O’Shea is pleading with the public for their help in catching the killer.

“The only way we can solve violent crimes is to have cooperation from the individuals that were either there, or the individuals who know the people who were there,” said O’Shea.  “They have to provide us information.”

That’s the second deadly hotel shooting in Rockford.  The first occurred in October at the Clock Tower. 

Aldermen are now calling for more consequences for hotels that don’t follow city rules.  Mayor Larry Morrissey said punishments will be handed down if it’s warranted.

“We will prosecute as best we can, and as fully as we can, anyone who is violating either as a hotel or a guest of the hotel,” said Morrissey.

Community and Economic Development Director Todd Cagnoni says new codes have been added to help regulate large groups of people at area hotels.

“The City of Rockford has adopted codes that limit the number of occupancies in hotel rooms,” said Cagnoni. “They are there to protect the life safety of the individuals that reside in the hotels.”

Aldermen previously approved a Section 108 loan for $2.7 million for Cliffbreakers.  It’s a move many of them are now questioning in the wake of the shooting.

“I would not want to give out this loan,” said Oddo.  “I don’t want to see any business fail, but once is one too many times.”

Officials say they’re looking into any potential code violations at Cliffbreakers before they make a final decision on the loan.

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