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Finalists for Rockford police, fire chief announced

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — The Rockford Fire and Police Commission announced the eight finalists Thursday in the running to lead Rockford's police and fire departments.

The following are finalists for police chief:

  • Larry Lapp — Retired Deputy Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation - Chicago Office
  • Jonathan Lewin — Senior Public Safety Advisory, First Responder Network Authority
  • Carla Redd-Miller — Assistant Deputy Chief, Rockford Police Department
  • Kurt Whisenand — Deputy Chief, Rockford Police Department

The following are finalists for fire chief:

  • Trent Brass— Captain, Rockford Fire Department
  • Kyle Hill — Captain, Rockford Fire Department
  • Matthew Knott — Division Chief of Administration and Fire Prevention, Rockford Fire Department
  • Michele Pankow — Division Chief of Operations, Rockford Fire Department

The commission will hold two listening sessions for the public to take part in a virtual Q&A with all eight finalists. Both listening sessions will be virtual.

  • Police finalists — Wednesday, July 28 at 5 p.m.
  • Fire finalists — Wednesday, Aug. 4 at 5 p.m.

Community members can submit questions to the following emails:

  • Fire Chief:
  • Police Chief:

Links to these virtual forums will be posted prior to each session.

Todd Stockburger and Randy Berke are serving as the departments' interim fire and police chiefs, respectively.

Former fire chief Derek Bergsten, who spent nearly three decades at the Rockford Fire Department left in May to serve as fire chief in Fort Collins, Colorado. Former police chief Dan O'Shea retired after leading the department for 5 years. He previously served on Elgin's police force.

Breane Lyga

Breane Lyga is the content manager at 13 WREX. She joined the team in 2015 as the 5, 6 and 10PM news producer after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She was 13 WREX’s assignment editor from 2017 to 2018.

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