Crime & Safety

November 18 | 7:30-10:30am | Tour to follow
Winnebago County Justice Center
650 W. State Street | Rockford

Please note: You will need to go through a metal detector to enter the building. Please leave any and all weapons or weapon-like objects at home. Please also have a valid ID with you. The tour following the session will be of the Winnebago County Jail. Your belongings will stay in the locked classroom during your tour as you will not be able to carry them with you on the tour.

Safety is an extremely important aspect of a community. How safe is Rockford? Perhaps a better question, what is the perception of safety in Rockford? How does crime effect our education system? Our business community? Our development as a Top City?

This session will focus on Rockford’s crime and safety and will feature panelists who can dispel myths as well as explain actions being taken to prevent and deter crime.


Sheriff Gary Caruana – Winnebago County Sheriff

sheriff_caruana_0521re_4x6-2Gary served nearly 8 years as a Winnebago County Deputy Sheriff. During this time he served as a patrol officer, corrections officer, and process server allowing him to develop an understanding of the workings of the entire department.  He then moved to the private sector with United Parcel Service (UPS) where he was a Security Manager responsible for Illinois facilities in Chicago, Peoria, and Rockford. This responsibility covered 12,000 employees and millions of parcels carried by thousands of vehicles across the state. Caruana retired from UPS in 2012 and on November 4th, 2014 he was elected to the Office of Winnebago County Sheriff.

On a personal level, Gary resides in Rockford with his wife and daughters.  He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, has been a substitute teacher in the local public school system, and is a volunteer at Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful. Gary served as a Commissioner on the Rockford Board of Fire and Police for 9 years.

Patrick Hoey – Assistant Deputy Chief, Rockford Police DepartmentHoey.png
Officer Hoey is a 29 year veteran of the Rockford Police Department  Before his role as Assistant Deputy Chief, Officer Hoey was the commander of the Field Services Bureau and Public Information Officer.  Officer Hoey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, holds a graduate certificate in Criminal Justice Education from the University of Virgina and a graduate certificate in Public Management from NIU, and has a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement Administration from WIU.  Officer Hoey is also a Village of Rockford, IL Trustee and a Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Board member.

John McKenzie – Attorney in Charge, United States Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Illinois, Western Division
John was raised in Rockford and graduated from Guilford H.S.  He became a Horned Frog at Texas Christian University and went to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale for law school.  Before returning to Rockford, John was an attorney in Santa Fe, NM, and Washington, DC.  He moved back to Rockford to join the U.S. Attorney’s office.  In 2004, he became the Attorney in Charge of the Rockford Office.  He is married to his wife, Kim, and together they have 4 sons.

Steve Jensen – SSRA, FBI
Steve Jensen is the Supervisory Senior Resident Agent (SSRA) of the Rockford Resident Agency (Chicago Division) of the FBI. Steve has been the SSRA out here since August of 2014.

Breakfast Menu – Catered by ABC Catering

Variety of Breakfast Pizzas (Ham, Sausage, Bacon, Veggie)
Cheesy Potatoes
Fresh Cut Fruit
Coffee & Water