BELVIDERE (WIFR) – Belvidere could be considered a safer place to live. The city’s police chief says overall Crime has dropped over the last seven years. Officers credit the safety to reducing gang activity and the help of city residents.
"The police presents around here, you actually feel like they're doing stuff to make us business owners feel safe, secure and protected.”
Michael Fischer owns Archangel Ecetera, a resale shop off of State Street in Belvidere. Fischer has accidentally left merchandise outside overnight, but it’s always there the next morning. He believes it’s because he’s constantly seeing the Belvidere Police patrolling the streets, which he says is warding off unwanted criminal activity.
“Maybe we shouldn’t take anything that’s even left out here because the cops are out here looking after the small guy.”
In the last decade, Belvidere’s crime rate has significantly decreased, since 2009 alone. Compared to last year, Fraud, property damage, assault offenses and larsony have all seen a major drop according to the Belvidere Police Departments’ annual crime report.
“8 years ago we had a significant gang issue in our city. Gangs that had moved out from Cook County, DuPage County had moved into our jurisdiction. What we did is partner with the public and formed watch groups,” said Police Chief Jan Noble.
Chief Noble believes many of the previous gangs are now off the street because of the strong relationship they’ve built with the people living in Belvidere.
“Make sure that when that initial information comes in, first of all, we respond, we respond in a quick manor and we take time to investigate. If we solve that, that strength in solving helps build that trust.”
Fischer believes he’ll keep his business in Belvidere for many years thanks to the Belvidere officers’ safety priority.
Noble says drugs continue to be one of the pressing issues in the city. He believes the more gang members they arrest, the more drugs they’ll keep off the streets.