Vandalism Reports Often Low Priority for Police

By: Meghan Dwyer
By: Meghan Dwyer

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- We got a tip from Facebook that cars were being broken into in South East Rockford, but police weren't responding to 911 calls.

We talked to the police to find out what’s going on.

Stacy Adams had just gotten home from the hospital after giving birth to a baby girl last Monday. When her husband returned from getting her medicine at the pharmacy, he discovered her car's windshield had been bashed in.

It happened between 2:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon in broad daylight. Other cars along the street were also hit. Adams wanted to have a report to give her insurance company so she could get the car fixed while she was staying home with the baby. When she called the police nothing happened.

Adams said, "They said they weren't going to send a police officer out; that it was low priority. They'd call back with a police report number. [I] Never got a call back."

A quarter of all 911 calls are for property damage, but because the police department is so busy handling more serious crimes there's just not enough manpower. An officer won't be sent out to the scene unless there's some sort of physical evidence, like blood, but you have to tell them that when you call 911.

There can be backlogs of up to a hundred calls for property damage. Police Department volunteers will call you back and give you a report number for insurance, but that might take up to three days. Police say they understand why people get frustrated, but they're doing the best they can.

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