Business Owners

The Rockford Department of Public Safety is dedicated to a Community Policing Model that combines with Crime Prevention with Fire and Life Safety. Crime prevention in your business starts with good communication between the public safety department and the local business.

Time sensitive information for local businesses and residents is usually passed along through popular social media channels. You can sign up on Nixle to receive text and email messages or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Business Watch

The Business Watch program helps Rockford merchants work together to prevent crime. The Business Watch provides a forum for businesses to communicate suspicious or criminal activity to other local businesses. Business owners can be notified about important information through email. This helps to reduce the risk of additional businesses becoming victimized. If you are a business owner and would like to join the Business Watch program and start receiving email alerts, please contact PSO Ian Graham at or (616) 866-9557.

Knox Box

The Knox-Box Rapid Entry System is a secure emergency access program developed for property owners and first responders. The Public Safety Department uses the Knox-Box Rapid Entry System to prevent costly entry damage while protecting property and lives. When a fire breaks out or there is a medical emergency, the Knox Box allows immediate entry into buildings and property without forced entry damage or delay. Property owners store entrance keys, access cards and floor plans in high-security Knox-Box key boxes mounted near building entrances. If you would like to install a Knox Box at your business contact Police Chief Dave Robinson at (616) 866-9557 or at

Fire Inspections

The Rockford Department of Public Safety conducts annual fire and life safety inspections at businesses throughout the City. If you would like to schedule an inspection for your business or have questions regarding the fire and life safety inspections, please contact the RDPS at (616) 866-9557. 


Downtown Employee Parking Ordinance

Effective November 1, 2005, the Public Safety Department began enforcing a parking order that prohibits any employer and their employees from parking on the street in the central business district, defined as zone C-2, in the City. The order also restricts parking in the parking lot adjacent to the Rockford Dam, the parking lot on Squires Street adjacent to the Rockford Visitors Center, the Promenade parking lot, the Grill 111 parking lot, and the parking lots on either side of Main Street between Bridge Street and Maple Street. This order does not apply to private parking or handicapped parking spaces. The order is not enforced when city parking lots are closed for special events. The goal of this order is to keep a healthy business environment for you and make a visitor’s experience to Rockford pleasant. It is a benefit to all businesses to have adequate parking that turns over frequently for the customers. A map detailing the public parking areas can be found here Rockford Downtown Parking Map.

Sign Ordinance

A sign permit is required prior to any new sign being placed or when modifying an existing sign within the City limits. Each zoning district has specific requirements with regard to signs. A copy of the sign permit and ordinance can be obtained at City Hall or on our website. There is a $30.00 fee for permanent sign permits. Temporary sign permits are allowed under special circumstances and there is a fee of $10.00.

Sign Permit Application

Snow Removal

The City’s Department of Public Services is responsible for snow removal on City streets. Their first priority is to clear heavily traveled roads and then secondary roadways. Property owners are responsible to keep sidewalks clear of snow including those within business districts. The city assists with the initial clearing of the sidewalks in the DDA (Downtown Development Authority) district, which encompasses downtown using a small sidewalk plow. However, snow removal still remains the property owners ultimate responsibility.