ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – Rockford Police Officers want to listen to what we have to say and they’re stepping up their efforts to understand our feelings, thoughts, and concerns.
July 26 starts the first of what Chief Dan O’Shea hopes will be many open and honest public conversations. Anyone is invited to attend and possibly speak tomorrow at Ellis Elementary School. The 75-minute discussion starts at 5:00 p.m. People will be given about two minutes to get whatever they want off their chests and police say they will do as much as they can to respond.
“We’re not there to direct the conversation. It’s not about the police giving direction and telling people things, we’re there to listen and try and provide feedback as to why we do things; as to how we try and avoid any racism or perceived racism with the community; or talk about biases. Biases are there, I mean everybody has them,” says Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea.
Pastor Jermel Flannigan will moderate the discussions. Chief O’Shea says he hopes to hear a lot of teenagers and young adults talk. Police say they hope this will show the human side of their officers.
Doors open to the event at 4:30 p.m. Ellis Arts Academy is located at 222 South Central Avenue, Rockford, 61102.