Rockford police and area residents say the Northwest part of the city bounded by Jefferson Street on the south, Whitman on the north, Kilburn on the west and the Rock River on the east is due for a major cleanup.
"Prostitution, mainly drugs, shootings, street thugs, gangs. You name it it's in our neighborhood," says concerned neighbor Deborah Weaver.
Now Weaver and her neighbors are teaming with police to change the face of their community. Police and representatives from the State's Attorney's office met with community members Wednesday night to mobilize them for the fight ahead. Thursday, police went door to door, targeting houses in the neighborhood where drug deals and other crimes go down.
"Police presence here will be increased and it will be sustained as long as it takes to transition this neighborhood from a crime hot spot to a tranquil and peaceful neighborhood," says Rockford Police Deputy Chief Michael Booker.
Neighbors here are optomistic that can be done.
"Come back in a month or two and you're going to be able to walk down the street and see it completely different, you're going to see smiles on people's faces instead of the frustration," says Weaver.
Rockford police condemned two houses and seized two more Thursday, in the Haskell/Coronado area they were patrolling. The department is working to find those residents other housing.