Commissioners

The Winnebago County Crime & Public Safety Commission is comprised of seven (7) citizens. New Commission members will be appointed, as necessary, by the Winnebago County Board Chairman and with the advice and consent of the current “Appointers” (Winnebago County Board Chairman, Winnebago County State’s Attorney, Mayor of Rockford, and Mayor of Loves Park).

Criteria used for selection will be: Commission members who are representative of diverse backgrounds from throughout the County and should include representation from the following areas: neighborhood interests; religious leadership; business/retail leadership, organized labor; education leaders, including vocational education; finance/taxation experts; social services, including drug, alcohol, mental illness, and homelessness issues; and community development.  The majority of Commission members shall, at all times, be citizens who are not public elected officials or full or part-time public employees.

Members of the Commission serve without compensation, and shall operate with such funding and staffing as may be provided by the Appointers.  In order to support the work of the Commission, the Appointers and the offices they represent shall, upon request, furnish such records, documents, reports and other data on criminal justice matters that the Commission finds is reasonably necessary for its work, subject to restrictions of confidentiality as set out by State statutes or court decisions.

The Commission will be divided into three (3) groups:  Group 1 will consist of three (3) members serving a one-year term; Group 2 will consist of two (2) members serving a two-year term; and Group 3 will consist of two (2) members serving a three-year term.  The groups will be determined by lot.  The Winnebago County Board Chairman, with the advice and consent of the current Appointers, will appoint new Commission members.  Commission members may recommend individuals for appointment when there are member vacancies.  The Appointers may remove any member of this Commission for cause.

If you are interested in serving on the Commission, you may send in a resume along with a cover letter explaining your interest to your elected official or send an e-mail to the Commission at: wccpscommission@gmail.com

Current Commissioners:

Armando Cardenas, Chair:  Armando Cardenas is the present Chairman of the Crime Commission and a long time resident of Winnebago County.  In 1972 he became the first Executive Director of La Voz Latina, an agency dedicated to serving the socioeconomic needs of the Hispanic community in Rockford and the surrounding area. Mr. Cardenas has been involved in helping the Latino community for many years and has served in numerous organizations and committees. He is presently a member of the (CLL) Coalition of Latino Leaders and serves on various committees.

Alice Uphouse, Vice-Chair:  Alice Uphouse is the longest serving member of the Crime Commission and has lived and worked in Winnebago County since 1960. Ms. Uphouse organized the Coronado/Haskell Neighborhood Association, and has been a member of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution for 34 years.  She received  the YWCA Marcella Harris Community Service Award in 2004, as well as the  “Heart of Rockford” outstanding non-profit project 1998.  Ms. Uphouse completed the FBI Community Relations Executive Seminar Training in 2007 and the Rockford Citizens Police Academy in 2010. Ms. Uphouse has a long history of volunteerism in the community, including neighborhood clean-ups, Paint-A-Thons, and the local Airfest. She serves as a trustee of the Second Congregational/First Presbyterian  Church.

Ken Burns:  Ken Burns is a retired husband, father and grandfather, and a long-time resident of the County.  Mr. Burns graduated from Auburn High School.  He is concerned and interested in neighborhood safety and security.  Mr. Burns serves as a trustee at Hope Fellowship Church, and is involved in the church’s homeless and hospital ministries.

Becky Cook Kendall, Secretary/Treasurer:  Becky Cook Kendall is Executive Director of Rockford Health Council. Throughout Becky’s career she has made a strong commitment to lead and focus on important issues. At the Health Council this continues to hold true, as she has strategically provided direction in development and coordination of the Healthy Community Study.  Previously, Ms. Kendall was employed by United Way as Vice President of Community Investment, and was responsible for fundraising efforts and providing consultation to nonprofit organizations, assisting them with strategic planning and strengthening their organizational structure.  Besides the Crime Commission, Ms. Kendall also serves on the boards of the Rockford Association for Minority Management (RAMM) – President; United Way of Rock River Valley – Community Campaign Chair; YMCA Chairman’s Roundtable;  and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – Immediate Past President.  She was recently chosen as one of the 2014 People You Should Know in Rockford by the Chamber of Commerce.

Jim Knutson: Jim Knutson has been the Risk Manager and Human Resources Director of Aircraft Gear Corporation since 1989, and is responsible for all corporate risk management, compensation and benefit programs.  Mr. Knutson  has been active at the national and regional level on a number of working groups related to healthcare, human resources, and employee benefits.  He has also been on the State of Illinois Insurance Commission Working Group to revise the standard application for medical insurance and a member of the steering committee of The Illinois State Chamber of Commerce Health Council.  He has testified before the joint state legislative committee on exchanges and presented before diverse groups including The Institute of Medicine, Captive Live conferences, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sponsored events.  Mr. Knutson received his bachelor’s degree from Marquette University and his law degree from Northern Illinois University.  He has lived in Rockford since 1974, is married and has two grown daughters who live in Rockford with their families.

Karen Lytwyn:  Karen Lytwyn is retired from Health Systems Research at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, where she worked for over 20 years, and is the former Project Director for the Violence Prevention Collaborative. Ms. Lytwyn currently acts as a consultant for human services, health and governmental agencies providing evaluation, data compilation and analysis, survey research, focus group and key informant studies. She has been a volunteer for several local groups, including Remedies Renewing Lives, Rockford Health Council, Illinois Health Cares about Domestic Violence, Weed and Seed Projects, and is a member of the League of Women Voters of Greater Rockford.  Ms. Lytwyn is the recipient of the Violence Prevention Collaborative’s 2009 Pioneer in Peace award.