ROCKFORD - Mayor Larry Morrissey says none of the accusations brought against him by police union president Terry Peterson are truthful, and that he has acted appropriately and in the best interests of the city.
"We have one choice as a city," said Morrissey. "We move forward or we move backward, and from my standpoint we have to move forward."
On Wednesday, Peterson said Geo-Policing
can't work in
"It's about the command and control of the organization not being by one chief and the mayor," said Morrissey.
An idea Morrissey believes is supported
"Our command structure is not really suitable to really execute like we know we need to execute," said Morrissey.
Peterson has said police staffing levels are to low to make Geo-Policing work, but the mayor says it can work and that he hopes to hire additional officers soon.
"Our goal is to hire 20 officers if we can this year," said Morrissey.
Another recent criticism of the mayor is that he got special treatment by the police regarding prostitution and drug activity near his home.
"The first person I criticized Monday night wasn't the union or any officers, it was myself," said Morrissey. That's because he says he should have been a better resident and known about the problems on his own block, instead of having to get an anonymous letter dropped in his mailbox, begging him to take action.
"I got this frustrated note put in my mailbox," said Morrissey. "And that's when I got angry and upset and I started taking pictures with my iphone."
But it's this incident that the mayor says highlights the need for Geo-Policing. Had the officers known the area better, he says they could've caught the criminals sooner, and that shows the current operation is a failed status quo.
"An officer makes a call, they go to their next spot, and then what happens," said Morrissey.
The mayor says if he got special treatment this time, it wasn't very special, and that he only gets security when it's appropriate, like when death threats are made.
"Yes, do I expect a dignitary detail to be available if necessary, to protect me when you've got an issue like that, absolutely," said Morrissey.
The copy of the hand-written letter that Mayor Morrissey got from one of his neighbors claims the activity took place all day, everyday.
Meaning the issues in his neighborhood wasn't just his, and the police action might not have been solely for him.