Residents on Sixth Street near 10th Avenue are fighting for their neighborhood. Prostitutes and drug dealers use their street corners for daily business.
"I have hollered at them as they go by, but with all the violence in the last week, you worry are you going to get shot," said Mary Kay Wheeler, a 6th St. resident.
"They were standing at the end of the alley doing drugs at 4:30 in the afternoon with our kids playing," said Wheeler's neighbor, Heather Williams.
Mary Kay Wheeler and Heather Williams have been chasing off prostitutes for years. We first spoke to Wheeler nearly two years ago when criminals left a trail of needles in her driveway.
"A lot of it has gone away, but we still have a lot of work to be done yet," said Wheeler.
The prostitutes and drug dealers make a lot of their transactions in the alleys of the neighborhood. The problem has gotten so severe that the Williams’ installed a motion alarm that sounds when they come in her driveway. Williams and Wheeler want more police patrols in the area.
"If you call police, by the time they get here they've either turned a corner or left the area. They're that fast," said Wheeler.
Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson says the department is putting together a proactive plan to stop a recent rise in prostitution.
"We gotta get them off the street, arrest them, because we're getting too many complaints."
Epperson says nice weather is bringing out more trafficking, so police are stepping up patrols.