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Search underway for new Rockford Fire chief

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Derek Bergsten

ROCKFORD (WREX) —After more than a decade leading the Rockford Fire Department, Chief Derek Bergsten is preparing to move to Colorado for a new job. That means someone has to take over in Rockford.

On Thursday the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners met for the first time to discuss replacing Bergsten.

The three-panel board agreed they want launch a nationwide search, while also considering internal candidates for the position.

"What are you contributing to the department beyond just doing your job? How active are you in the community? What are you doing to support the mission of City Hall and the aldermen? So those are the kind of leadership traits that we'll be looking for as well," said commissioner Sam Schmitz.

The board also agreed they want to hire a consultant to help them find the best candidate for the job.

Bergsten's last day with the department is May 7. The board is also tasked with finding an interim chief until the new chief can start. Whoever is chosen for the interim position must agree they are not interested in applying for the chief's position permanently.

Kristin Crowley

Evening News Anchor
Kristin Crowley anchors the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news. She is also a reporter for 13 Investigates. She brings more than a decade of experience to the newsroom. Her work at WREX has earned her multiple awards including a regional Edward R. Murrow for Investigative Journalism and three regional Emmys.

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