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Coalition of Latino Leaders host public safety forum, Thursday

ROCKFORD — The Coalition of Latino Leaders will host a public safety forum from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, at Klehm Arboretum, 2715 S. Main St.

On hand will be Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea and Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana to discuss crime statistics and reporting, crime prevention initiatives, new technology, community collaboration projects and law enforcement careers.

Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato will provide an overview of how his office seeks justice on behalf of citizens, identify careers in this area of public safety and describe his department’s role in the U-Visa process.

In addition, immigration law attorney Beth Hoffman, from Dady & Hoffman LLC, will provide insight on the Illinois Trust Act and many other immigration-related topics.

The Trust Act, which received bipartisan support in Springfield last year, prevents local police from holding people for immigration purposes without court-issued warrants and forbids local police from stopping, searching or arresting people based on their immigration or citizenship status. Supporters say the act encourages trust between immigrants and law enforcement, which provides a welcoming climate and addresses public safety in our state.

Hoffman will also provide an update on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program.

The final speaker will be Gladys Guerra from the YWCA La Voz Latina’s Immigrant Family Support, providing information about the Immigrant Resource Program. La Voz Latina gives assistance, advice, and guidance on public programs available for immigrants in our community.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the program from 6-7 p.m. and a Q&A session to follow. The event is free with complimentary food and drinks provided by Guanajuato Taqueria, 519 Marchesano Dr., and SWIFTT, a non-profit organization that supports businesses and residents in southwest Rockford. R.

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