ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) ----- "It's where the police department is meeting the community where they're at, not asking them to come to us," said Assistant Deputy Chief Mike Dalke.
Tucked away in the Jackson Oaks neighborhood, just north of SwedishAmerican hospital, the newest rock house prepares to open its doors.
"I can tell you for sure, and I would rarely speak for a neighborhood, they are incredibly excited to have the ROCK House in their neighborhood," said Mayor Tom McNamara.
Assistant Deputy Chief Mike Dalke says his work as Community Engagement Commander focuses on ensuring the two story house on Revell Avenue becomes a pillar of strength and connection in the neighborhood.
"We're meeting them there in an area that has traditionally, over several years, has needed assistance. By establishing that ROCK House there, in that neighborhood, is really ramping up what we're trying to do to build that community, that neighborhood up,” said Dalke.
"I think it's a perfect location. It's been a really wonderful partnership up to this point as a Strong House, with SwedishAmerican and United Way, and we're really thankful to Winnebago County Housing Authority, for you know, kind of furthering that relationship with our police department,” said McNamara.
By living in the neighborhood, the ROCK Officer can get a better understanding of the problems the area faces, and work to find solutions.
"There's no line that separates the community and the police. We can't do things successfully without the help of the community," said Dalke.
The police department is working to get the house ready to welcome community members in the spring.