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Public Safety Improvement Plan Unveiled at State of the County

<font size="3"><font face="Times New Roman"><?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Winnebago</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">County</st1:placetype></st1:place> rolls out new weapons to make the Stateline safer and it was aimed directly at business leaders. Today the plan was presented the annual state of the county luncheon.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></font></font><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"> </font>

 

Rockford- Knock Out Crime is the new initiative sponsored by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce to help improve public safety. Crime is an issue that's starting to deter business from coming to Winnebago County.

 

"People can Google up Rockford and that's indicated, so it's something we really need as a community to get our arms around," said Winnebago County Board Chairman Schott Christiansen.

 

Christiansen says Knock Out Crime needs all hands on deck. To help get people on board starting June first the non-emergency number 211 will go live.

 

Business owners and residents can report issues like building hazards, drug houses and even pot holes.

 

"We can't look purely for government to help us we have to be able to recognize our responsibility to report crimes, identify areas of concern that we've observed in  our community," said Rockford Chamber of Commerce Einar Forsman.

 

The Winnebago County Sheriff has set up a stop, walk, knock, talk program to help officers get to know neighborhoods. Rockford PD will hire around 20 new officers the county adding 5 additional officers, but police departments still want more community watch groups

 

"We can't possibly afford the total amount we all need, so we need to have other means of doing that and this neighborhood watch neighborhood network thing is an excellent way to do that, " explained Forsman.

 

   

A new "text a tip" hotline and non- emergency call center should help improve communication. A goal the county is hoping will help knock out crime.

 

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