Hotspot Policing Seems to be Working in Some of Rockford's Roughest Neighborhoods


ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Some of the worst parts of Rockford are seeing a surge in officer presence. It's part of the hot-spot policing initiative started last summer. This weekend even more squad cars will be on patrol as the sheriff's department takes part in this special operation.

Tiffany Owen says she wants to get her kids out of the neighborhood she spent twenty three years living in.

"I have two kids and I wouldn't bring them out at night,” said Owen, who’s lived in the neighborhood around Cunningham Street since she was three years old.

She says crime in her area is getting worse and feels it's making the people living there too scared to leave their homes.

“I think people just want to do their own thing...and just know each other,” said Owen. “I just don't think they want to come out anymore."

She's not the only one who's noticed the crime on her block. Rockford Police have been patrolling hot-spots like the neighborhood around Cunningham Street since last summer and now four sheriff’s deputies are joining forces with the department this weekend in these high crime zones.

"I think when you see a couple agencies get together and work on a crime problem together...then it's very beneficial to a community,” says Rockford Police Lt. Mark Welsh. “To be able to throw more resources at it...and anytime you throw more resources at a problem... you're probably going to solve the problem quicker."

The department says the method has been working because their amplified police presence is acting as a deterrent to crime, but some neighborhood residents feel adding more police to the streets doesn't necessary fix the crime problem.

"The police aren't going to be there all the time,” says Rockford resident Dexter Johnson.

But Owen says the extra patrol can help. She says, "It could possibly change...because who wants to go to jail, right?"

And while crime isn't fully going away, police say the extra help from the county this weekend may keep things going in the right direction.

This might be a good weekend for the operation because authorities say there's typically more crime when the weather is warmer.


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