Police union president Terry Peterson is refusing to apologize for the language used in the proposal and says he will only withdraw it if the city backs off from implementing its GEO-policing model.
"As long as it's a hot button issues with them, we think that GEO-policing is a hot button issue for the community as well," said Peterson.
says the hazardous duty pay proposal came after the cities showed interest in
implementing the GEO-policing model on
"Remove policing from one side of the city that desperately needs it, I think is a failure," said McNeely.
But other city leaders are outraged by the proposal, and at Monday night's city council meeting some asked the police union to apologize.
"I want to make sure we maintain through our rules and regulations an atmosphere of decorum, so that we can do our job," said Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey.
That prompted Peterson to write a letter to the union members. In it he called Mayor Morrissey a "spoiled rich kid," and said the mayor is using the proposal to distract from what he considers a politically motivated GEO-policing model.
"This is a mayor who vilifies the employees, the employee representatives, members of the community, community groups, anybody that doesn't agree with him," said Peterson.
Morrissey called the letter ludicrous. "I just really think it's sad," said Morrissey, and went on to say the letter is meant to distract from the main issues.
not in this job to be popular with the union," said Morrissey. "I'm in this job to serve
Publicly voicing concern over closed room negotiations, as well as name calling, has Alderman Linda McNeely feeling the two sides are only pitting people against each other, and not solving the real problems.
"I think that the negotiations should be maintained in the room and not put out to the public," said McNeely.
Compared to this time last year, aggravated battery and shots fired statistics in Rockford have gone up by 46-percent on the west side, and gone done by 26-percent on the east side where city leaders want to start the geo-policing model. Another reason Peterson points to as why the GEO-policing model isn't needed and won't work on the east side.