ROCKFORD (WIFR) – It’s more important than ever for us to keep our doors locked and our homes secured, since burglaries are up all over the city of Rockford. However, members of Rockford’s Rolling Green neighborhood are fighting back.
From locking doors to patrolling streets, people who live in the Rolling Green Neighborhood near Alpine and Harrison say they want to send a different message to criminals.
“I think you get scared and you stay home or you close your doors and pretend that it’s not happening,”
That’s why dozens of people showed up for a special crime meeting at Heartland Church where many homeowners wanted to know how to keep their neighborhood safe.
In a months’ time, the area experienced both a shooting and a string of burglaries.
Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson says neighbors can’t just rely on cops to catch criminals, he says it’s up to us to call police when we see something strange.
“I’ve always been a nosy neighbor, some people don’t appreciate that but I want to know what’s going on around me,” said Beverly Kelso, who has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years.
Some homeowners believe that could help curb crime. Carol Plantz says since police officers can’t always be around, she believes it’s up to the neighbors to be their eyes and ears.
“You just have to be more aware and we aren’t anymore, we take it for granted, oh something happened and the police will take care of it,” said Plantz.
Jim Sadler says there’s proof that the approach is already working.
“We’ve caught people in the act of different offenses and the police has responded in most cases, pretty quickly.”
Chief Epperson says many of the recent burglaries were committed by the same people.