New Survey Circulating to Help Improve Policing to Reduce Violent Crime

Survey for Rockford residents & employees to reduce crime & improve policing

ROCKFORD - The city of Rockford and Winnebago County leaders want to make the area a safer place to live, but in order to do that. they need the help from Rockford residents and employees.  Local leaders say the online survey they're circulating will help them improve policing and come up with new strategies to reduce violent crime.

Residents like Lincoln Bias believe this new survey could help push the city in the right direction.

"It's always good when people start looking for solutions," said Bias.  "But, in my mind, I would hope it wouldn't just stop at the survey, that the citizens and government would start to implement plans to bring about change."

The city of Rockford, the Region 1 Planning Council, Winnebago County and researchers at Loyola Univeristy Chicago are banding together to find ways to bring that change to Rockford.  Region 1 Planning Council Member, Marlana Dokken, says residents and workers are being asked for their thoughts on public safety in Rockford.

"This is to give the Rockford citizens are voice," said Dokken.  "Their voice can be heard to our leaders, as well as the police and Sheriff's department."

After selecting the zip code they live in, the survey allows participants to select the levels of importance certain crimes are to them.  Participants' options are burglaries, shootings, domestic violence, and more.  Rockford resident Eleanor Boersma says she plans to express one of her biggest concerns.

"The threat of it could happen anywhere at anytime," said Boersma.

Boersma's home was hit after a drive-by shooting. She says this is a great opportunity to ensure that she and her daughter will be safe, even after such a close call.

"My house was hit," said Boersma.  "It was hit right by a window, that if it was a couple inches over, it could have very easily hit my daughter.  We were sitting right on the couch by the window."

Feedback results from incidents like Boersma's is what Dokken says will help law enforcement with tactics out on patrol.

"So, they could understand maybe do some different training or apply some different technique... [in order] to better serve the community," said Dokken.

The Region 1 Planning Council hopes to get at least 3,000 surveys. The survey will close at the end of next month.

Click here to take the survey in English or in Spanish.

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