Caruana, O'Shea stress collaboration in town hall meeting

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Two of our area's top cops say they're working hard, collaborating to make our neighborhoods safer. But some say they're fed up with the crime and feel they may not be seeing results of that collaboration as quickly as they'd like.

"I carry pepper spray when I go between the two houses," says lifetime Rockford resident Karyn Brokhausen. "Who wants to live like that?"

Brokhausen's family has lived in the same two homes on Rockford's north west side since the 1800s. Now she says, she's thinking about moving.

"There's been shootings, shootouts there, we had a man set himself on fire, " she says talking about the gas station near here home. "That's right next door to where I live.... I don't want to live my last years in fear."

She isn't alone. Many people in the city say they feel unsafe in their neighborhoods and want our top cops to know about it. Rockford Police Chief Dan O'Shea and Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana are listening.

"It's more important we hear from the community members, their concerns, their questions," says O'Shea.

The two addressed those concerns, stressing their collaborative efforts to cut down on violent crime.

"We're the two largest law enforcement agencies in Winnebago County," says Sheriff Caruana. "It's up to us to take a lead role and not say there's geographical lines, this is a city, county, this is a region now."

While Brokhausen hasn't made up her mind about staying in Rockford, she appreciates the work law enforcement is doing now to make things in our area safer in the future.

"We're all hoping that big changes can occur," she says. "It's going to take a lot of time and a lot of effort."