ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Some people on Rockford's west side could soon see a police officer move onto their block as their newest neighbor.
A home in the 2200 block of North Winnebago St. could be the next Resident Officer Community Keeper of ROCK House. Rockford Police Chief Dan O'Shea is modeling this proposed program after one he says was successful in Elgin. The officers would be on call all day, everyday, living in a home free of charge thanks to a partnership with the Rockford Housing Authority.
Many neighbors in the area say they've seen an uptick in crime on their block and are excited about the possibility of getting a new neighbor.
"A lot of it is just we've had too many empty houses," says long-time resident Connie Gagliano. "The criminals just wait inside the unlocked garage, screen porch...they're watching you the whole time so when you leave, then they break in. So I think having police presence is a really, really good idea."
"Once you get rid of some of the violent crime problems, it solves the quality of live issues," says Chief O'Shea. "And what matters to people living any neighborhood USA? Quality of life issues."
Chief O'Shea hopes the home on Winnebago St. will be the first of many. The proposed program still needs to be approved by Rockford City Council.