Cutting Down on Noise & Violence

By: Alice Barr
By: Alice Barr

For the third time in two weeks, members of two local hispanic groups head to Rockford's city hall.
"It takes a village to raise a child and we are part of this community," says Julio Salgado, leader of Latinos for Progress.
They spoke out before city council about finding ways to end the mounting violence on our streets.
"We need to implement gun-control programs, enforce neighborhood watch programs," says Salgado.
The groups are mainly acting in response to the recent murder of an icecream man on Rockford's southwest side. They call the act a hate crime. Now they say they want hispanics to have a larger presence on Rockford's police force and among elected officials to help resolve our community's problems.
Alderman Victory Bell agrees: "When I look at the overall workforce throughout the city of Rockford, it's a problem all over and we have to look at what causes that problem."
The meeting soon changed gears to another hot issue.
"We would hear noise from automobiles all night long. They'd go by and the noise would rattle the windows," says Rosemary Todd. She's the Rockford resident who initially approached the council with her concerns over excessively loud music.
Aldermen voted in favor of a new sound new ordinance. It states that cars can be impounded if the driver blasts music that can be heard more than 75 feet away. There will also be fines starting at 150 dollars and increasing for repeat offenses.
"It's a quality of life issue. It's an issue that effects all of us in our neighborhoods or as we're driving down the street and I think it has a large impact," says Rockford Alderman Doug Mark.
The sound ordinance still needs one more vote to make it official. It won't go into effect until September at the earliest. Aldermen say they'll work with Rockford police to make sure it's properly and firmly enforced.


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