Recognition is culmination of newly created Leadership Development Program by BETH ALTENA A Rockford police officer’s promotion to sergeant is a testimony to his command of his responsibilities, community involvement and contribution to the success of the Enforcement Division of the Rockford Public Safety Department (formerly the Rockford Police Department), but is also the culmination of a new program of leadership within the department. “This is something different than anyone else, better than anyone else,” commented City Manager Michael Young of a new police leadership program which differs from the traditional system promotion as the result of testing and years on the job. Members of the Enforcement Division—supervisors, command staff and Chief Jones—spent the last nine months, in nine work sessions, learning about and developing a Leadership Development Program similar to the one in place at Amway. It requires learning about every aspect of city government, from the structure of the City under its charter, to the responsibilities of City Council members, the City budget and process, grant writing, receiving and giving feedback, human resources, and managing change. “We have faced a great deal of change in the City,” Jones noted. The process is geared to cultivate future leadership in the department. Officer Dave Robinson, with a powerful resume in police work and leadership, was recognized during the Monday, Jan. 9 City Council meeting with a promotion to sergeant. According to Chief Jones, Robinson is the perfect example of an officer with all the credentials to qualify for this recognition and honor. “His resume, frankly makes me a little envious,” Jones said of Robinson’s career history. The 18-year police veteran has spent the last 11 years on the Rockford force. He has become well known for his community policing efforts, working with Neighborhood Watch groups and organizing the City’s National Night Out program. Currently the Rockford D.A.R.E. officer, Robinson now takes on additional command responsibilities. Robinson received his education and training from Grand Rapids Community College and Ferris State University. He was first hired with the Greenville Department of Public Safety in 1993, where he was responsible for developing the first Field Training program in Greenville. He received the Distinguished Service award there in 1996. Robinson was hired by the City of Rockford in 2000. […]
Police Chief Dave Jones
Rockford City Manager Michael Young announced the Rockford Police and Fire departments will merge and become Rockford Department of Public Safety beginning January 1, 2012. Young will act as the Director of Public Safety during the transition with current Police Chief Dave Jones and Mike Reus handling the daily operations of their respective divisions. “We have studied this issue for some time and believe by cross-training our employees we can take advantage of existing resources to enhance our capabilities,” said Young. “This is exactly what we did several years ago when we cross-trained our Department of Public Services employees to be trained firefighters. I feel that this consolidation will make our public safety functions more efficient while saving money with an actual increase in service to the community. We are feeling enormous financial pressure to look at all aspects of our operations differently and this is sound public policy for a community such as ours.” The first phase of the public safety merger will involve cross-training the police officers with fire training. Five members of the Police Department, including Chief Jones, will attend a Fire Training Academy located in Big Rapids beginning in January of 2012. Chief Jones stated, “I am looking forward to the training and the new challenges ahead.” Jones said he and his department have fully embraced the idea of a Public Safety Department. “In our current economy, anything we can do to become more efficient will ultimately result in financial sustainability.” Upon completion of the fire training in January, all full-time police officers will be qualified to provide traditional police, fire and medical response services. Rockford’s part-time police officers will receive medical training to prepare the Police Department for the final transition to public safety in January of 2013. “The twelve-month transition period will allow the Department to make critical adjustments while developing the most efficient public safety model for the City,” said Young. Fire Chief Mike Reus agrees with the ambitious plan. “We owe it to o ur residents to explore any options that will improve services in the City of Rockford,” he said.