Ofc. Eric Thurmond to move out of role as community ROCK officer

ROCKFORD (WREX) — It’s been nearly 4 months since Rockford Police Officer Eric Thurmond was placed on paid administrative leave by the department. 13 Investigates learned Monday evening that he will be moved out of his role as a ROCK House Officer.

RPD’s public information officer told 13 Investigates by email, “Officer Thurmond is currently residing at the Rock House, however he will be transitioning out of that role and a new resident officer will begin there in the near future.”

The department did not indicate when that change would be made.

Police say Thurmond is still on administrative leave, but have not told 13 Investigates why.

Last month, 13 Investigates learned through a public records request that Thurmond was linked to an ongoing criminal and internal investigation by Rockford Police. The details of that investigation are unclear. But according to the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office, the incident under investigation took place on May 23, 2019, or one day before Thurmond was placed on administrative leave.

Thurmond has denied knowing anything about the investigation. He told 13 Investigates he was off-duty because of an injury to his shoulder. Rockford Police have not confirmed Thurmond’s injury.

Thurmond has been a part of the city’s ROCK House program since its inception in 2017. He has lived at the taxpayer-funded house on 15th Street and became well-known across the city and the country for his work with youth in his neighborhood and across the community.

Thurmond was also a fixture at numerous community events, hosting block parties, ice cream socials, job fairs and youth camps. So far this summer, based on attendance by 13 WREX reporters, he has been absent at many of those same events.

The police department would not go in to detail on when Thurmond will be replaced, only saying “RPD will continue the residential officer program by utilizing ROCK homes and we hope to have a new officer in the 15th Street residence in the near future.”

When asked why he was being replaced and if he will remain with the department, Rockford Police declined to answer.

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