ROCKFORD (WIFR) – There are many neighborhoods in the City of Rockford where it’s normal to hear the sound of gunfire. Operation Safer Streets reporter Marissa Sherer tells us how Rockford Police are getting help patrolling neighborhoods with the most crime.
Denise has lived around Cunningham Street for nearly 40 years. She says it used to be a safe neighborhood, but not anymore.
She says she hears guns going off all the time, but the sound of gunfire is just the tip of the iceberg. She says there are times she’s afraid for her and her family’s lives.
“I have grandkids and they’re out in the yard playing, people driving by shooting, they might get hit,” Denise said.
Neighbors agree with her saying gangs are a big problem.
“I hear a lot of gun shots, but I think it’s mostly gangs,” said one neighbor.
Just his week, police arrested two 16-year-olds at the corner of Blake and West Streets. One is a member of the Latin Kings gang. Police say he had a gun and drugs. Police are stepping up patrols in that area this weekend to stop crime before it happens. Residents will not only see Rockford Police, but also County deputies.
“Any time you throw more resources at a problem, you’re probably going to solve it quicker so the ability of the Rockford Police personnel and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s personnel to work together enhances our abilities to more quickly solve the problem,” said Lt. Marc Welsh.
The police and Sheriff’s Department have been working together on hotspot policing the last few weeks. Sheriff Richard Meyers says helping stop crime in the City prevents it from spilling over into the county.
“Anything we can do to reduce the number of victims, we in law enforcement had to forget about jurisdictional boundaries and team up to do whatever it is we can to reduce that victim count,” said Meyers.
There will be four county deputies working with City Police in a number of areas where Police have received calls of shots fired. In addition to the Cunningham Street Area, they’ll also be around Broadway and 7th Street.
With the warmer temperatures, Lieutenant Welsh expects officers to be very busy this weekend.