Peace Poles Installed in Rockford Neighborhoods

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Multiple drive-by shootings over the past week in three of Rockford’s housing projects have many people who live in and around those areas fearing for their safety.

We spoke with a couple of families today who say the violence has to stop and they hope the installation of a peace pole today is a turning point for their neighborhood.

Brenda Taylor is fired up and ready to bring peace to the Blackhawk Housing Complex.

“We just want to have peace out here. Not all the shootings and the kids can all play,” said Taylor.

Taylor hopes the new Peace Pole, installed near the playground is the first step to ending violence in her neighborhood, an area that just had a drive-by shooting last week.

“I want to sit in my house and not hear gunshots.”

Taylor says she’s not afraid when she hears gunshots anymore, but she knows the kids are.
It’s for kids like 10-year-old Nylicia Pearson that Rockford Housing Authority CEO Ron Clewer says the Peace Pole is so important.

“It’s important we believe for all our residents we have to promote peace, we have to promote their involvement in peace, you saw our children here,” said Clewer.

Even Pearson is ready for a change and she has a message for people who come to her neighborhood.

“They need to be careful. They know there’s kids out here that don’t want to get hurt or get shot or nothing. They need to go somewhere else with that instead of coming over here where all the kids are at.”

The Peace Poles were also installed at Fairgrounds, Orton Keys, and the Jane Addams housing complexes. The pole says “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in English as well as three other languages.

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