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Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.

Mayor McNamara Commits To Addressing Police Brutality

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City of Rockford
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After over a week of protests in Rockford, Mayor Tom McNamara has released a statement with a working list of four steps designed to address police brutality and misconduct.

 

Mayor McNamara has signed onto the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance which promises incremental police reform via “common-sense limits on police use of force with feedback from the community.”

 

Beginning today, City staff launched a Request for Information (RFI) on body cameras for the Rockford Police Department. The RFI report, which the mayor says will be released in two weeks, will compile all the required information to successfully implement body cameras on police officers. The mayor says his staff has already begun researching funding options.

 

The City’s 11-member Community Relations Commission, which was took office last fall, has been tagged in to review of use-of-force policies as well as to put together a cost-benefit analysis on the immediate implementation of body cameras. 

 

The mayor said he is also planning several listening sessions with the black community in the coming weeks and months. More information will be released tomorrow. McNamara added, “Improving racial justice and societal equity will not happen overnight. However, to create a better community, we must move with speed and purpose and we must engage all our residents.”

 

  • Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.
Juanpablo covers environmental, substandard housing and police-community relations. He’s been a bilingual facilitator at the StoryCorps office in Chicago. As a civic reporting fellow at City Bureau, a non-profit news organization that focuses on Chicago’s South Side, Ramirez-Franco produced print and audio stories about the Pilsen neighborhood. Before that, he was a production intern at the Third Coast International Audio Festival and the rural America editorial intern at In These Times magazine. Ramirez-Franco grew up in northern Illinois. He is a graduate of Knox College.