Village of Rockton welcomes new police officers, appoints fire and police commissioners


Rockton Chief of Police Matt Hollinger, new officers Elizabeth Harkins, David Murray and Michael Slack, Police Chaplain Pastor Dan Herman

At a recent Village of Rockton board meeting, three new police officers were welcomed into the Village of Rockton on Tuesday evening, April 18. 2023. Family, friends and fellow law enforcement were in attendance to show full support.

As fathers and a son stood by, David Murray, Elizabeth Harkins and Michael Slack were sworn in by Village Clerk Christina Stewart as the officers recited the oath of office.

Following the swearing in, Rockton Police Chief Matt Hollinger gave an introduction of each officer.

“Elizabeth Harkins comes to us from the Elgin Police Department where she worked as a Community Service Officer. She has some experience in mental health and in crisis and is very well educated and trained in crisis intervention.”

David Murray went to college at the University of Milwaukee. Murray's father was credited for being a great source of encouragement.

Michael Slack worked for the Village of Rockton Public Works Department from 2010-2015. He and David Murray also mowed lawns while working with the Public Works.

“Mike was a football player for the Rockton Roscoe Rush and has done competitive jiu-jitsu, and was very active in coaching as well," Hollinger added.

The new officers are in their first week at Sauk Valley Police Academy in Dixon, IL. “They will graduate in August and immediately begin the field training and evaluation program in Rockton," Hollinger said. “They will spend the majority of this 14-16 week training assigned to our field training officers on patrol.” Hollinger thanked the Police Commission who moved along graciously doing background investigations.

The Rockton Village Board appointed David Nicosia and Shawn Connors to the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners. They will be joining current Commissioners Richard Stewart, Chairman, and Charles Kostantacos, Attorney/Secretary.

Nicosia and Connors will fill the seat of Patrick Gardner who is moving and the seat left with the election of Dave Winters to the Village Board of Trustees.

Trustee Justin York gave the Rockton Police activity summary from the dates of April 1-15.

Rockton Police issued 63 warning tickets, a total of 72 tickets, three warrants, 14 criminal arrests and three traffic accidents.

Rockton Fire Chief Kirk Wilson reported on statistics from Jan. 1-March 31. “We had 350 incidents, and a fire loss of $32,600. As of the date of the meeting we had 417 total incidents.”

He reported that in  March's  first-ever Battle of the Badges between Rockton and Roscoe's police and fire, Rockton emerging the winner with 59 donors, versus Roscoe's total of 42.

Under zoning, the board addressed the annexation of property that sits at the site of the former University of Illinois Primary Care Clinic at 1511 N. Blackhawk Blvd. in Rockton.

Prior to holding a public hearing on the annexation,  U of I attorney Jeff Hucek offered to answer any questions that the board might have during the public comment portion of the meeting.

During the hearing the floor was open for inquiries from the public but there were none.

The property was formerly in Rockton Township and received approval from the Rockton Village Board to be annexed into the AG Agricultural District to be changed to a CG-Commercial General district.

Trustees also approved a resolution authorizing the board to enter into a redevelopment agreement with AAP, LLC to assist Al's Main Street Tap in making improvements on their property, including redevelopment, renovation and repair for the property. One specific need is the relocation of a gas utility line. The costs associated with it are eligible for TIF (Tax Increment Financing) assistance because the business is in the TIF Redevelopment Project Area. Last year, Fibs Restaurant benefited from TIF funding.

Village Attorney Aaron Szeto said that he was going to handle a deed exchange the day after the meeting.

Village Board members went into a lengthy executive session to discuss security procedures, school building safety and security, and the use of personnel and equipment to best respond to an actual, threatened or a reasonable potential danger to the safety of employees, students, staff, the public, or public property.

After returning from the executive session no official action was taken.

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