Experts Try to Figure Out Rockford's Recent Crime Wave

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From residential neighborhoods to housing complexes, Rockford's seen an unusual spike in violence across several parts of the city. The latest is a homicide inside a home on North Greenview Avenue early Monday morning.

"When you look at individual homicides, they all have an individual motive of why they took place. The common denominator which we deal with on a daily basis is drug activity," Deputy Chief Dominic Iasparro said.

Iasparro says Rockford typically averages between 15 and 20 murders a year. While last year's homicides finished at a 15-year low, the deputy chief says crime rates usually go in cycles, not year by year trends.

"Last year was an unusual year in that we had the lowest number that we had in the past 15 years. The trend seems to be reversing itself not only in Rockford, but across the nation," Iasparro said.

The deputy chief says nearly 90 percent of violent crimes are rooted from people using drugs or involved in selling drugs. It's a factor which often turns altercations into fatalities.

"To attack the crime problem, you have to attack the drug problem, not only from the standpoint of the supply and the people that are selling the drugs, but also from the people that are using the drugs," Iasparro said.

It’s the common link to most violent and property crimes, a link authorities fight to decrease before the year's homicide total reaches double digits.