Weed and Seed Enforcement

By: Mark Lindner
By: Mark Lindner

Ellis Heights residents have literally been begging police to come and do something about the crime problem in their neighborhood.

The police answered those pleas today, bringing fifty officers to patrol the area. They have made numerous arrests during tonight's operation, although an exact number is not available at this time. Officers patrolled the area, seeking out people with outstanding warrants, drugs, and gang activity.

The operation is part of the Rockford Police Department's weed and seed program. The program focuses on cleaning up an area framed by Kilburn, Johnston, West State, and School. While police say they're just doing their jobs, residents say efforts like today's sweep need to happen more often.

"We're trying to weed out the people that are causing problems and lower the crime rate in the area," says Lt. Joseph Rinaldo of the Rockford Police Department.

"The major goal is to turn the neighborhood back over to the neighborhood residents," says Lt. Michael VanVleet of the Illinois State Police.

"Its cool but if they did it like once a week or something, it would be better," says neighborhood resident Robert Watkins.

Police patrolled the area until midnight, setting up a command post in a parking lot on W. State St. and running shuttles from there to the police station. If you have any information about any crimes that have been committed in the area, you are encouraged to call Rockford Area Crimestoppers at 963-7867.

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