Gang Activity in Belvidere

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A big city problem invades a stateline community normally known for its peaceful streets.

The problem is gang activity. The community is Belvidere. Police are concerned the situation is getting worse.

In the last year Belvidere Police Chief Jan Noble has seen a major increase in the number of gang related crimes. Gang unit officers believe there are at least 100 gang members in their city.

Much of the attention was sparked Tuesday night when an 18-year-old man was shot three times outside his home. Police say the violence was gang related.

The gunshots disrupted a normally peaceful neighborhood. The shooting took place on Maple Avenue, next door to Tracy Fildes' home. He heard the gunshots.

If the gangs move in, he says he's moving out, but not without a fight. His neighborhood plans to start a watch group and get the word out that gang members are not wanted on their street.

Chief Noble says community involvement will play a key role in stopping gang activity, but the Police Department is also taking steps of their own.

Noble has hired three new officers. The Gang Enforcement Unit will also step up patrols in problem areas. The game plan is zero tolerance.