Troubled Neighborhood

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Residents in a west side neighborhood speak out about growing problems in their community. From gangs to graffiti and illegal dumping, residents say they need help from city leaders.

Just a few years ago, Hector Valdovinos moved to Rockford from Chicago hoping to find a better life for his wife and three kids, especially his older son.

"I was afraid for him to get involved in gangs or drugs or whatever and that's the same problems we're facing right now. That's what we have here," says Hector.

Valdovinos is battles gang graffiti on his home and garage and says someone has been dumping garbage and used tires behind his home for over a year. He tired of cleaning it up.

"No one wants to get involved. The policeman don't care we don't have enough car patrols," Hector adds.

The father of three has gone to his alderman, the mayor, the health department and his state rep. Rockford's mayor recognizes the problems facing residents in this west side community and says the city is responding.

"The areas that are having more problems get more resources. So the idea that nothing is being done here first of all is false. And the idea that we don't care is really wrong also," says Mayor Doug Scott.

Hector Valdovinos says it's still not enough and he wonders how things will be after the city's next round of budget cuts. The city provides a free service to remove graffiti from private property.