Police chief announces retirement

Police chief announces retirement

Rockford Police Chief Jeff Nielsen on April 17 announced plans to retire by the end of the year.

Nielsen joined the Rockford Police Department as a patrol officer in 1968, working his way through the ranks to become chief on July 14, 1997.

Mayor Doug Scott had mixed feelings about the announcement. “I wish Chief Nielsen the best on his retirement, as he has certainly earned it. On the other hand, I will miss his leadership very much,” Scott said. “I have an incredible amount of respect for Jeff, both as a police chief and as a friend. He has done a wonderful job leading the Rockford Police Department, and the entire city will miss him.”

The Rockford Board of Fire and Police Commissioners will begin the task of selecting a new chief, which is expected to take several months. Chief Nielsen’s retirement will coincide with a new chief taking over.

Nielsen was instrumental in developing the police department’s recruiting program and was commander of police operations for many years for On The Waterfront. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Children and Our Courts Foundation and the Janet Wattles Mental Health Center.

Nielsen and his wife, Martha, have three children and reside in Rockford.

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