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Industry Council: Public Safety


As part of the City of Rockford’s efforts to be involved in the Rockford Public Schools, the Alignment Rockford Industry Councils were formed to build a robust pipeline for students who are interested in a career in public safety from elementary to post-secondary education. In addition, the council works to implement different tactics to encourage conversation, trust, and relationships between students, parents, teachers, and the Rockford Police Department. 


To provide elementary and middle school students career awareness experiences within the Rockford Police Department; To develop robust experiences within the Human and Public Service (HPS) Academy / Law and Public Safety Pathway; To provide high school students with work-based learning experiences directly connected to careers within the City of Rockford Police Department resulting in college credits and industry certification. 

Growing talent from within the Rockford Public Schools will ensure continuity of services, a supply of high quality recruiting prospects, and a sustainable way to satisfy a long-term employee need for the City of Rockford. 


How does the council plan do accomplish this? The council has identified a few tactics that will help reach our goals as outlined in the Industry Council vision. Click on each tactic below to learn more.

This pilot works to increase the relationships between teachers, students, parents, and the police. The school liaison officer at Haskell Elementary will implement formal and informal presentations to help expose children to police work, while giving safety lessons. This will create a better relationship between Rockford Police Department and the school area.

Youth in Winnebago County face high rates of violent crime and a number of risk factors, including diminished economic opportunities; high concentration of poor residents; involvement with gangs; poor academic performance; and involvement with drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. In 2015, Winnebago County had the second-highest violent crime rate (932.9 per 10,000) in the state and the highest of counties with at least 10,000 residents. Meanwhile, Winnebago County’s 2015 average unemployment rate of 7.1% was well above the state rate (5.9%). While violent crime rates for juveniles are not readily available, juvenile criminal involvement is high. Of Illinois counties, Winnebago County juveniles ranked:

  • 6th in arrests per 100,000 in at-risk population in 2014 with 3341.2.

  • 4th in residential treatment placements (age 10-16) per 100,000 people in 2015.

  • 6th in active juvenile probation caseload rate (age 10-16) per 100,000 people in 2015

The work of the Industry Council will expose students to police work as a societal example, and career option to decrease juvenile offenders and unemployment rates among poor residents.

In the 2018-2019 school year the Rockford Police Department will help develop a robust and strategic career-focused school liaison program and implement at the elementary school level. The programs will incorporate career awareness activities using the residing elementary school officer. Each elementary school will participate in one/all of the following programs:


  • Eddie the Eagle
  • K-9 Demonstration
  • Bullying Presentations
  • Drug Awareness
  • Embed officer in class sessions
  • Bicycle Safety
  • Trick or Treat Safety
  • Parent/Police Discussions


These programs are aimed at integrating police officers within classrooms to increase dialogue, understanding, and trust between the police, students, parents, and teachers.

A police liaison officer attends all 8th Grade Seminar classes.
This tactic has not been mapped. Come back to view more progress! 

Every year, the Rockford Police Department participates in the annual Academy Expo, a career exploration event aimed to expose all Rockford Public School students to Rockford area careers in the College and Career Academies at RPS. The Rockford Police Department won the trophy for Best Booth in Human and Public Service during the 2018 Academy Expo. 

To learn more about the Academy Expo, click here

The goal of this tactic is to develop, distribute, and facilitate sophomore site visits, determined by RPS target school calendar. 

Although not yet developed by the Industry Council, some goals of this tactic include: 

  • 95% of students interested in Law and Public Safety pathway will participate in a sophomore site visit at RPD training facility. 
  • 100% of the students report a quality experience/visit. 

These goals will drive the Industry Council as they continue to build this tactic. Come back to see the progress! 

To help strengthen the relationship between parents and police, the Rockford Police Department will help host parent/teacher conferences for RPS middle schools. 

This tactic is being negotiated with target pilot schools. Come back to see the progress on this tactic! 

It has been identified by RPS and the Industry Council that teacher learning experiences are important important in order to stay relevant in their subject. 

By learning from experts in the field, Law and Public Safety Pathway teachers can learn new things in the public safety career in real time. 

This tactic has not yet been developed. Come back to see the progress! 

The goal of this tactic is to build the Law and Public Safety pathway from Rockford Public Schools to seamlessly transfer to a 2 year, then 4 year degree in the Rockford area. 

Conversations have started to take place with area colleges to make Law and Public Safety a transferable educational experience for students. Come back to check in on the progress!