Rockford firefighter graduates from Police Academy

Double proud—Rockford’s Robert Berkstresser, who has been a firefighter for the city since 1992, has graduated from police training academy. His daughter Holly, a 2004 Rockford High School graduate, also graduated from a police academy this summer.

by BETH ALTENA “It was a challenge, especially being older. If I was in my twenties like everyone else in the class, it would have been easier,” Bob Berkstresser, 51, made the statement about a grueling 16-week, 594-hour police training academy. Berkstresser just completed the class, allowing him to join the ranks of Rockford’s relatively […]

Business owners warned about spate of break-ins

The Rockford Department of Public Safety (DPS) responded to several business break-ins the morning of Saturday, June 2. Rockford DPS would like to remind all business owners that it is important to report all break-ins and attempted break-ins immediately, even if it appears nothing was taken. If you see any suspicious activity, report it immediately […]

Thousands come out for Rockford Relay for Life

FIRST WALK—The firefighters of Rockford always lead the first lap of Rockford's Relay for Life event. With the new combined Department of Public Safety—which includes newly trained first responders from the city staff, the police department, Chief Dave Jones in command, City Manager Michael Young as overseer, and Chief Mike Reuss as Rockford Fire Marshall—this group of safety staff now leads the Relay for Life first lap. Photo by Beth Altena

by CINDY M. CRANMER Thousands of people joined together at Rockford’s Relay for Life to raise money to fight cancer, to celebrate survival from the disease or to remember a loved one who lost their battle to cancer. Area residents could show their support in a variety of ways from raising pledges for walking to […]

Rockford models new money-saving safety structure

Firefighter Phil Vincent practices firefighting at the Towers, while newly trained firefighter Jamie Davies works the control panel on a Rockford fire truck.

All full-time DPW, police now qualified firefighters, medical responders by BETH ALTENA The writing was on the wall when Rockford was forced to lay off one of the city’s full-time firefighters two years ago. When police Lieutenant Scott Mazur retired a year ago, his position was not filled. With revenues to the city in a […]