ROCKFORD - It's the latest
advertisement in a barrage of ads being released by
The television ad asks the question the Police Benevolent & Protection Association Local 6 has been asking the mayor for years.
"More people, more
crime, less police officers. How do you
do more with less?" part of the ad which criticizes geo-policing when it comes
to a lack of police officers monitoring the streets of
"Our membership thinks that the city's taxpayers are going to pay dearly for a program that will never produce what these guys claim it's going to produce," said Terry Peterson, president of PB & PA 6.
But Mayor Larry
Morrissey (I) defends his push for geo-policing in the
"The answer the chief has given over and over and over is yes," said Morrissey.
"I don't know what
more we can say. The issue on a building
is a different issue entirely. We have
to get out of the old
That's where the difference between Morrissey and Peterson lies. The PSB needs to be renovated desperately, and that cost will fall solely on the city's shoulders when the county moves out of the building. It's a big cost, but Peterson says those renovations would end up being more cost effective than moving to three separate geo-policing stations. Morrissey claims it's the other way around.
"We're going to have a very efficient and very cost effective approach that I think it going to be a lot more efficient going to these three existing building than moving back into our building or a building a brand new one," said Morrissey.
But the cost effectiveness of switching to three buildings instead of one is still up in the air. The city is in the process of doing a cost analysis, which is expected within the next month. But Peterson says those results still aren't there.
"They're talking a bunch of stuff about how it's going to be cheaper and how this building is cost prohibitive and all this other crap but they don't have anything out there," said Peterson.
"They have never put out anything that says exactly how much those cost comparisons are."
Morrissey says those cost comparisons will come soon, but admits the city will have to shell out more money for police facilities regardless of moving into three new buildings or renovating the PSB. He believes geo-policing is in the interest of the public's safety.
"The model we're currently using has failed and they should get out of the way and let us do what we need to do," said Morrissey.
"Let me just remind you as well, if you look at the mission statement of the police union on their website, there is not a word in there about public safety, not a word in that mission statement about protecting citizens."
Politically speaking Morrissey says the new policing effort is supported by most citizens, he claims. That may reflect primary results from Tuesday where two longtime alderman who opposed geo-policing were replaced by two that support the effort. One of those alderman hopefuls, Vernon Hilton of the 6th ward still faces opposition in the general election.