Rockford Ranks as 14th Most Dangerous Neighborhood

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- One group says there's so much crime in one part of Rockford’s south side it's one of the most dangerous areas in the country, but some say it’s not deserved.

"It's like a slap in the face for all the hard work that we've done to make this place a good place to live," Joe Owen, ORCHiD Neighborhood Association President, said.

Owen wasn't happy when he heard NeighborhoodScout named the Haight Village, and the ORCHiD and Riverview Neighborhood Association areas the 14th most dangerous in the country.

"It's not a violent neighborhood. It's actually a very, very nice neighborhood," Owen said.

NeighborhoodScout used FBI data to make the list and says low incomes and lots of abandoned homes are to blame for the high crime rate. The group says our chances of being victimized there are one in 13.

Resident Courvoisiera Thomas says he's not surprised by the ranking.

"People just getting stabbed over money, people getting shot over he-say, she-say stuff and that's nonsense," Thomas said.

Others like resident Thomasina Horten, who's lived here all her life, say it's not that bad.

"Violence is everywhere you at. Wherever you go there's going to be violence, it all just depends on the person’s state of mind," Horten said.

Owen says there's signs everywhere the neighborhood is improving, like the park. Today you see drawings on the sidewalk instead of gang signs on the playground.

"At one time children could not play there because of the riff-raff that was there and we got that cleaned out and now that park is being enjoyed by families in our neighborhood," Owen said.
"Back in the 90's when I was a kid it was worse, you know, but right now they got a lot of police riding around, they doing their job so I don't think it's real violent," Horten said.

The ORCHiD Neighborhood Association just set up a website where residents can report problems and let neighbors know about community events. To sign up, go to

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Rockford has made another list that doesn’t make us proud. A group called Neighborhood Scout ranked us as having the 14th most dangerous neighborhood in the country.

Neighborhood Scout says it’s the low incomes and high number of abandoned homes that’s leading to so much violence on the City’s south side.
The neighborhood we’re referencing is bordered by Chestnut Street on the north, Kishwaukee Street on the East and 15th Avenue on the South. It encompasses Haight Village and the Orchid and Riverview Neighborhood Associations. Neighborhood Scout says our chance of being victimized in that area is one in 13. A scary number, but people who live here say it’s no worse than any other neighborhood.

“Right now they got a lot of police riding around, they doing their job, so I don’t think it’s real violent. I think it’s alright,” said resident Thomasina Horten.

We also spoke with Joe Owen today who’s the president of the Orchid Neighborhood Association, which is included in this area. He says it’s much safer there now since the Jane Adams Projects were torn down.

A number of Chicago neighborhoods also made the list. Detroit took the top three spots.

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