Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson came out with his four c's campaign: cameras, community policing, community services and crime analysis. Here’s the new description of what it means to aim and shoot. Rockford Housing Authority has used this candid camera type system to record many moments over the past year. Because residents know someone is watching at Fairgrounds someone has hit the pause button on the loitering, gambling and criminal sexual abuse cases.
RHA Crime Analyst Laura Snyder states, "We've stopped the open drug dealing and we've caught stuff on tape."
RHA can monitor what goes on in 4 different locations 24-7. The surveillance video has been used to prove someone’s innocence or guilt. Snyder states, “In the case of the mob action, the victim was arrested for that and going back to cameras we saw he was the victim not the suspect so to him that's priceless."
In time RHA, the Rockford School District and Rockford Police Department will all be able to tap into each other's video surveillance system. By 2007 you can expect camera's on street corners, public parking garages, and weed and seed areas.
Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson states, "Obviously I can't buy enough officers to be on every street corner but I can buy cameras that can zoom in on areas."
Epperson hopes an increase in cameras means a decrease in crime. All the criminal violations in the past will truly be just a moment in time. There has not been a murder in an RHA complex for two years. More than 80% of the crimes committed in public housing is the work of someone who doesn't live on the property.