Anti-Crime March

By: Alice Barr
By: Alice Barr

Neighbors in Rockford's troubled Coronado/Haskel neighborhood are reaching out to each other to raise up their community and weed out crime. Tuesday they marched through their streets to spread their message.
"We got to stop, and start involving more of the community the older people that know the way kids should go, these are kids killing kids," says one marcher.
Neighbors chant the phrase "We support and report" as they march., meaning they're using tips police have taught them to recognize and report drug dealers.
"It is part of our duty, really to understand that we need to be the eyes and ears of our neighborhoods, we really can't ask the police to do it all," says Margie Veitch, President of Rockford's Neighborhood Network Association.
But police are doing their part. They've pledged to increase patrols in the area until crime rates plummet and they've already had success over the last couple weeks with a new program called "hug a thug".
"Seven individuals who warrants were issued for their arrest, six are in custody and there are five who are being offered an alternative to arrest and that is stop selling drugs and there's a future for you," says Deputy Chief of Rockford Police, Michael Booker.
Neighbors say they can already feel the difference.
"We heard children, I heard birds at day time instead of screaming, cars roaring. It's a good feeling its a neighborhood again," says Deborah Weaver, President of the Coronado/Haskel Community Group.
And these neighbors are making sure it stays that way.


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