Cracking Down on Crime

By: Rebekah Baum
By: Rebekah Baum

On Monday, Almart grocery store on West State Street was shut down, and on Thursday, the city closed Nectar's Tavern and Grill on North Main.

City attorney Jennifer Cacciapaglia says the Morrissey administration is making it clear that quality of life issues are a top priority.

"The mayor strongly believes that problems at Almart and Nectar's can't be tolerated in Rockford," says Rockford city attorney Jennifer Cacciapaglia.

On Thursday, the city shut down Nectar's Tavern after police arrested five underage drinkers at the bar over the weekend.

"We received repeated complaints from surrounding neighbors; people throwing bottles, people urinating on neighbors' property, and the police have been called in several times to break up fights," says Cacciapaglia.

Neighbor Hubert Reaves can attest to the problems. Every Saturday morning, Reaves and his father would clean up beer bottles thrown on their property.

"At least I don't have to worry anymore about gunshots, bottles everywhere, broken windows; it's going to be a big relief," says Hubert Reaves.

Cacciapaglia says Rockford residents have a right to live peaceful lives.

"This is where we live, where we work. If you can't go into a grocery store without someone trying to sell you drugs, that's unacceptable," says Cacciapaglia.

Mayor Morrissey believes in the broken windows approach, made famous by former New York Mayor Rudy Giulani, the theory revolves around stricter policing efforts and eliminating the types of environments that breed crime.

"When you're driving down the road and you look at the surrounding buildings, if they're filled with broken windows so to speak, or other violations, it affects the moral and willingness of people to get involved," says Cacciapaglia.

Cacciapaglia says Rockford leaders will continue to address these issues, working to build a stronger sense of pride in the city.


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