Rockford Park District implements updated security measures

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 6:34 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A string of after-hours incidents resulting in injuries, property damage and death prompt the Rockford Park District to step up safety precautions at its properties.

In June of 2022, 25 after-hours incidents happened at parks and facilities owned by the Rockford Park District. Then in July, four people were shot and two died at Sinnissippi Park after the park was closed. Now the district will implement a series of safety measures across its 182 recreational areas.

Rockford city parks are usually full of fun and families, but concerns bubbled up after the shooting, so police took extra precautions to enhance safety and security at parks and recreational facilities.

“There’s going to be consequences and we have to do that to ensure the safety of our footprint and all of our parks and facilities,” says Rockford Park District Police Chief Theo Glover.

The park district updated signage and added gates and license plate readers. Park District police want guests to be safe and enjoy their facilities, but they must follow park rules.

“We live in a different world a different society today where you’d never expect these kinds of things to occur. They want to make sure we feel safe. And so, I compliment them for taking the position that they are and moving forward,” says Alderman Frank Beach.

Chief Glover says the extra procedures are a step in the right direction, but the community’s eyes and ears are just as important.

“We workday in and day out to make sure that the residents have that ability to go and enjoy those parks, you know, and I don’t want them not to enjoy them because they’re fearful of somebody there that you know may be involved in any type of violent act or anything,” says Chief Glover.

The Park District says the extra security measures will not require an increase in property taxes.

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