That is according to a new study by Neighborhood Scout, titled Top 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in America which reports the Kishwaukee corridor including Broadway and 7th street is the 5th most dangerous neighborhood in the U.S.
The findings are based off of data gathered from the FBI and 17,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide, which collected information on poverty and violent crime rates from 2012. Rockford Police Deputy Chief Doug Pann says those statistics are two-years old and do not represent what is going on in the area today.
“[The statistics from 2012 don't] necessarily reflect the reality that was then, or today," says Deputy Chief Pann. "I would question the way that they gather their data. They don't know Rockford.”
Rockford featured on Neighborhood Scout's list not once, but twice.
Coming in at number 18 was the State Street and Rockton Avenue area. Deputy Chief Pann says that area does not have a high volume of calls for service and has significantly improved since 2012. “It has never been an area that has raised any flags about being a particularly dangerous area of Rockford," he says. "It is certainly close to some of the busier police service areas.”
Rockford police are using newer geo-policing tactics to focus in on hot spot areas like the Kishwaukee corridor and say most of the problems in that area stem from gang related activities.
"We have small groups of high risk individuals that start engaging in this, and they get going back and forth," Pann continues. "Until we can get them off the streets sometimes we see a spike."
Residents do say the area has improved since 2012 but still needs work.
Martin Diaz, who owns a business on Broadway, says he wants to see the community work together to make positive changes. “It has changed a little bit," he says, "but it is not enough. We would like to see more police activity here.”