By Jim Hagerty
Rockford aldermen, Monday, Sept. 8, voted 11-2 to redevelop the former post office, at 557 New Towne Drive, into a police precinct.
The $1.1 million renovation will create a home for Police District 3, which will serve the far-east side. The building will also be used by the public works department for storage of snowplows and other equipment. Police are expected to move into the building next year.
Alds. Linda McNeely, D-13, and Tina Newberg, I-9, voted against the project.
District 2, serving central Rockford and the near-east side, was launched in January. District 2 officers are currently housed in the Public Safety Building, but are are slated to move in the old Turner School, at 1400 Broadway by 2016. The building has been vacant since 2012, when the Northern Illinois Women’s Center closed.
The city is considering two locations for District 1: the U.S. Bank building at 850 N. Church St., and a new facility near the corner of West State and Avon streets. Police District 1 comprises the west side.
The Winnebago County Public Safety Building, at 420 W. State St., will be torn down when Rockford Police vacates the facility. The plan to decentralize the police department began in 2009.