11th Street Neighborhood Watch Group Cleaning Up Their Streets

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

Prostitutes. They're sharing the streets with our kids.

"The kids are at the bus stop with them, and we've had problems," Doris Hansen said.

Ask most residents living near 11th Street about their neighborhood's biggest issue, and the answer comes quickly.

"We're having a lot of problems with hookers. That's been the main thing for as long than we've been here," Hansen said.

Doris Hansen and her husband have lived off 11th Street for more than 30 years. Three years ago, they started up the Southeast Helping Hands Neighborhood Watch. It's neighbors helping neighbors, people fighting prostitution.

“They will come up and beat on the side of your car. They do a lot of things, they holler at us. It's terrible.”

And while Hansen says the city's police officers usually respond quickly to calls, she's often skeptical of which stores are for or against the prostitutes.

"A lot of them I'm sure that are OK, but there are some that I believe are associated with it," Hansen said.

Whether it's 4 a.m. or 4 p.m., these neighbors off 11th Street say drugs and prostitution are a daily problem. That's why they say they're always on the watch.

"The neighbors are a lot closer now. I would know if someone was sick with a block of my house and I think that’s a big plus," Hansen said.

Deputy Chief Theo Glover of Rockford tells us that 11th Street is a major concern. Glover adds that police often make more prostitution arrests there than most areas of the city.

The police ask for residents to call the departments non-emergency line for any suspicious activity. That number is 987-5800.


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