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Chiefs Search

Here you will find updates on our search to find new Police and Fire Chiefs.

May 24, 2021

The City of Rockford Fire and Police Commission, in consultation with Industrial/Organizational Solutions, just announced that the job descriptions and requirements for Fire Chief and Police Chief are available and applications are now being accepted.  

Job Description for Fire Chief

Job Description for Police Chief

May 20, 2021

The City of Rockford Fire and Police Commission recently retained Industrial/Organizational Solutions (IOS) to assist in the recruitment and evaluation of candidates for the fire chief and police chief positions. As part of the selection process, the City wants community input on what qualifications or experience residents think prospective candidates should possess. Written comments can be submitted via email to [email protected] for comments on the Fire Chief or [email protected] on comments for the Police Chief. After candidates for both positions have been thoroughly vetted and evaluated, the City will host web-based meetings for residents to meet the candidates. Additional information on these meetings will be announced later in the process.

April 28, 2021

The Fire and Police Commission appointed Robert Vertiz to Interim Fire Chief and Randy Berke to Interim Police Chief.

Chief Vertiz has been with the Rockford Fire Department for almost 32 years. He has held the position of Division Chief of Training for the department since 2018. He is responsible for the administrative and management work involved in planning, organizing, directing and supervising the department’s fire and emergency medical services training programs. Chief Vertiz previously held the position of EMS Coordinator. He is a lifelong Rockford resident. He’ll begin as Interim Chief on May 8.

Chief Berke has been with the Rockford Police Department for 27 years. He currently serves as the Assistant Deputy Chief over Police District 2, where he plans, assigns and supervises patrol operations; develops goals for staffing, crime trends and operational procedures; and reviews citizen complaints and misconduct investigations. Chief Berke is a graduate of the F.B.I. National Academy and has served on the SWAT team for 24 years. In his various leadership roles, he has supervised many departments, including the Sensitive Crimes Unit, the Rockford Narcotics Unit and the Community Services Unit. Chief Berke has been a resident of Rockford since he was hired by the department in 1994. He’ll begin as Interim Chief on May 1.

“Both Chief Bergsten and Chief O’Shea have done a fantastic job developing the leadership skill of their teams during their tenures,” says Sam Schmitz of the Fire and Police Commission. “I believe Chief Vertiz and Chief Berke will be able to seamlessly step into these new roles, while the Commission conducts a national search for permanent replacements.”

“I appreciate the hard work of the three citizens on the Fire and Police Commission,” says Mayor Tom McNamara. “After selecting Interim Chiefs, they now begin an even more difficult task of launching national searches for two chief positions simultaneously. I know the commissioners are committed to finding the very best candidates to serve our community.”

Per Fire and Police Commission requirements, those who will be applying for the permanent positions are not eligible for the interim positions.

The citizen led Fire and Police Commission oversees hiring and promotions for the Rockford Police and Fire departments and is made up of three Rockford residents – Sam Schmitz, Ingrid Hargrove and Rudy Valdez.