Keeping Crime Out of Fairgrounds

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Monday night's deadly shooting at the Fairgrounds Valley Housing Complex renewed the push to keep that area safe.

20-year-old Jimmy Hollins, who was killed Monday night at one of the apartments in the Fairgrounds Valley Complex, didn't actually live there. Rockford Housing Authority Executive Director Ron Clewer says most of the crimes committed at Fairgrounds come from non-residents. It's a trend residents have noticed too.

"I guess it’s a more popular environment for people to come and being in the projects they figure its supposed to be bad, so they can make it bad,” said Clewer.

The Rockford Housing Authority is working hard to keep crime down. Clewer says despite a rise in Crime last year, numbers are still well below crime levels from 2005. The rise in Crime they saw last year came mainly from non-residents. Of the 353 people arrested on RHA property last year, only 41 of them were residents. He says they have a strict no violence policy that seems to work with residents, but the challenge is making sure trouble doesn’t come from the outside.

“We really want our residents to understand the importance of who they're allowing into their units, who they're allowing onto their property because if it's folks who were previously removed from the property and have a ban that's a lease violation and they can lose their housing,” said RHA Executive Director, Ron Clewer.

Clewer met with a handful of residents this afternoon in response to Monday night’s homicide to help calm some fears and also talk about ways residents can get involved in keeping their own neighborhood safe.

Residents can also attend a meeting on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at Fairgrounds. It’s being put on by some outside groups. The peace and non-violence group also meets on Tuesday at 11 to work with residents in getting them in contact with any services they may need.

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