Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey has commented on concerns about the city's police force through a news release. Dozens of people marched in protest this week over recent officer-involved shootings. Morrissey says the city supports the free expression of community concerns.
In response to the march, Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey issued a news release outlining the city's efforts to work on crime within the community.
“The City fully supports the free expression of community concerns through walks and marches. We are empathetic to the concerns voiced today and will continue to support our citizens and our officers in our mutual pursuit to a safer community.”
- Larry Morrissey
Protestors have said the shootings are racially-motivated. Morrissey says the city and Rockford Police Department work with the NAACP in the Community Mediation program. The program started in 2009.
In the release, Morrissey points to several initiatives to maintain community relations:
- Re-Accreditation thru the Commission on Accreditation Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) - The department complies with over 400 professional policing standards such as use of force, training, recruiting, crime deployment, personnel and legal constitutional standards. Very few police agencies are accredited. The department received its second three-year re-accreditation this summer.
- Policy Development - The department continues to work on the thirty-five policy recommendations from the Independent Assessment Monitoring Report. The policy recommendations are nearly completed.
- Winnebago County Integrity Task Force – The City of Rockford Police Department participates in a multi-jurisdictional task force, which investigates fatal police shootings and serious police-related involved incidents.
- Administrative Review – The police department has implemented an Administrative Review of all fatal police shootings and serious uses of force along with other significant operational incidents. The Administrative Review was an IAM policy recommendation. The Administrative Review consists of reviewing policy, practice, and process of each incident.
- Force Board Review – The police department conducts a Use of Force Review Board on fatal shootings and those incidents which result in serious injury. The Review Board examines the criminal and administrative review aspects in terms of department protocol, practice, policy and procedure.
- Training – The police department has enhanced its internal training to provide simulation training to all officers on various force encounters.
- Clergy Academy – The police department conducted a twenty-hour session with local clergy on the operational procedures of the department in areas such as policy, protocol, prevention, arrests, community policing, complaint in-take, and investigations.