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Rockford alderman pushing for more discussions on providing body cameras to city officers

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Rockford Alderman Ann Thompson-Kelly says the time for change is now and is focusing her attention on the city's police department.

"In my opinion we need to change the attitude and a policy and procedure in which the police department are conducting themselves," says Thompson-Kelly.

The alderman makes it clear her concern is not with every officer in the department, but rather a select few.

"We're talking just a small percentage of individuals we're not talking a whole bunch of people, the whole force, we're talking a small percentage," says Thompson-Kelly. "To me the one thing that I just can't stand the police department is the code of blue silence when they see an officer doing something wrong and they don't say anything."

Thompson-Kelly says the first thing she wants to see change is what the department plans to next spend its money or grant awards on.

"The dollars of a grant that we just got and you're talking about shots fired equipment? No, we've got to start getting body cameras."

With video evidence of incidents, Thompson-Kelly believes citizens can feel more confident officers will act justly and follow the law. If they don't, the evidence will speak for itself.

"My thought is with today's technology everybody is on camera," says Thompson-Kelly. "Regardless of what you do everybody's on camera so we need to change."

Thompson-Kelly says she plans on bringing up the issue at Monday night's city council meeting.

Mary Sugden

Mary Sugden is the Investigative Reporter at WREX. She joined the team in December 2014 as the evening producer. In 2015 she made the move to evening reporter before joining the 13 Investigates team in May of 2018.

She grew up in Woodstock, Illinois and graduated from Woodstock High School in 2009. Mary graduated with a degree in Journalism and Marketing from Loyola University Chicago in 2013.

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