After more than two hours of meeting Friday came these handshakes between Rockford's Police Chief and residents concerned about the rising crime targeting the city's Hispanic community. "I think this is the beginning of working together, coming together and working with the city," said Julio Salgado with Latinos For Progress. Friday's closed-door meeting between city leaders and members of the Hispanic community was prompted by two recent murders. One, on July 15th, killed 47-year-old Isidro Durand. He was selling ice cream along Loomis Street at the time. A week later, 17-year-old Alex Delgado was found dead near State Street and Garver Avenue. "We're dealing with a complex issue and it would unfair to any of the memories of any of the killed indivduals to point the finger at the police department." Morrissey says responding to this rising crime requires work from across city hall...and an understanding of what's driving it all. He advocates community involvement too...and so do some Hispanic leaders. "This is not a Hispanic thing, this is a Rockford problem. This is our own problem and we need to fix it." Salgado says one idea from the meeeting is creating focus groups in different parts of the city that would discuss crime prevention. Overall, he says says today's meeting was positive....and he's hopeful for less of this on Rockford streets.
Police have arrested three teenagers in the murder of Isidro Durand. But they have no suspects so far in the death of Alex Delgado. If you have any information, call Rockford Police.