This North Highland Square neighborhood is a safe place for families to raise their children. And if Margie Veitch has anything to say about it, it’s going to stay that way.
"Preventing crime, maintaining order are key issues, as well as maintaining the desirability of our neighborhood," Veitch says.
Last October, she founded the North Highland Square Neighborhood Association. The group requests a $10 donation which funds newsletters and neighborhood activities.
"We know that strong neighborhoods build strong cities, and that's what we want in the city of Rockford," Veitch says.
The association meets monthly and has brought in guest speakers to help residents get to know their city better. One of those speakers, Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson says this is a program that others should model themselves after.
"They're very organized, very concerned, and very committed to the quality of life in their neighborhood and I applaud them for their effort," Chief Epperson says.
Veitch says building a successful neighborhood association can be as simple as saying hello.
"Go next door, knock on the door, let people know what your name is, your phone number, maybe even let them know when you're going to be gone," she says.
"There is going to be some public restoration where citizens in the city of Rockford don't have to worry about crime or the perception of crime. They can come out on their porches and enjoy the quality of life," Epperson states.
Veitch says she can't take all the credit. She got plenty of practice as president of the North End Square Association. That is the oldest neighborhood watch group in Rockford.
The Rockford Police Department is committed to promoting neighborhood watch programs. If you do not have one in your community and would like to establish one, you can call Police Chief Epperson's office at 987-5842.