“It’s about bridging the gap between between police and citizens, it’s about bringing together this community like we saw it come together in November,” said Andrea Cox, cousin of fallen Rockford Officer Jaimie Cox.
It has been six months since Cox died in the line of duty. Andrea Cox, alongside three thousand other Winnebago County citizens, are pushing to keep his memory alive. “I can’t let Jaimie’s sacrifice be forgotten, it was too important, he was too important,” she said.
Monday night she shared her mission with city leaders to change the name of the Morgan Street Bridge to the “Police Memorial Bridge’. The purpose she says it not only honor Jaimie, but every officer who has died in the line of duty.
“It’s definitely meant for all the officers that have lost their lives in the line of duty in Rockford, Winnebago county, and all the other surrounding departments,” she added. “Having residents come together throughout the region to support our law enforcement is really special,” said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.
McNamara says Officer Cox’s death is still something he thinks about daily. While he fully supports law enforcement, he says he won’t comment on the petition for the bridge until questions are answered regarding Cox’s death.
“I have stated that to the Cox family, I will not comment on anything until the investigation is over,” he said. McNamara says it’s possible for the bridge to have an honorary name. Cox’s family says if changed, it would help build stronger relationships between citizens and the officers in blue.
“It’s important to start bridging that gap, we need to have trust on both sides of the symbolic bridge as you might say,” Andrea Cox said. She and fellow petitioners plan to meet with council members more formally, but a date has not yet been determined.