Safety and security is top priority at the Stateline festivities this year

Organizers and officials come together to form a plan for safety
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 6:20 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Joy and celebrations quickly transformed into lifeless bodies and horror after a car plowed through barricades and straight into the parade in Waukesha, Wis., Sunday. As thousands get together this weekend for Stroll on State in Rockford, organizers say they’ll take a few extra steps to ensure our community is safe.

C.E.O of Rockford Area Convention and Visitor Bureau John Groh says, “My condolences to the family and folks who lost loved ones.” As a father and event organizer himself, he said is a hard pill to swallow.

Groh revises his plan even though his team have spent several months on it, “being reviewed yet again, we spent months scenario planning with our agency partners and in light of what happened yesterday we pulled everyone back in this morning to as are there any areas we can add strength to the plan.”

Belvidere’s Hometown Christmas is also just around the corner, police Chief Shane Woody says each event has a different safety plan, “we look at not only what’s happening regionally but worldwide.”

Chief Woody adds that no matter how many precautions we take, nothing cane be guaranteed so just pay attention to your surroundings at all times. Chief Woody also notates the added security at this event, “Not only do we replace the typical wood or plastic barricades that we usually see, we’ve replaced them with what’s called Jersey barriers and they’re the big cement concrete blocks”

Organizers of both events say they already have a safe and secure plan for the community and will revise them if needed to ensure nothing can ruin the celebrations.

“The city of Rockford the Police Department the Fire Department the Mayor’s office our office Public works everybody is taking this very seriously, we always have,” says C.E.O Groh.

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