Belvidere Community Service Officer Tim Blankenship spent Wednesday afternoon speaking with residents about his life, working in law enforcement.
It’s part of the police department’s Summer Community Policing Outreach Initiative. Police, along with other services across Boone County, set up shop at a Belvidere soccer field on the corner of Highline Drive and Christi Lane in order to get to know residents of the neighborhood.
Blankenship explains, “We have all the brochures of the different programs. We’re going to have giveaways for the kids. [We have] stickers, erasers, badges and ice cream on Friday.”
Community policing tactics, such as this one, have been popping up across the area lately.
Rockford police opened three, manned “strong neighborhood homes” in difficult neighborhoods within the past year, and are holding several block parties this summer.
Blankenship says more departments are starting to see the value of it.
He adds, “[It’s good for police] getting out there, interacting with the citizens, not in always the normal [case] where a crime has occurred, but for no reason, having a good time.”
It can also be a good crime fighting tactic. “We hear from a lot of people that the kids are afraid to call the police, or afraid of police, and we want them to know to not be afraid of us, and that we’re the ones to come help them,” he says.
The event will be held at the soccer field every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9:00 AM-12:00 PM and 1:00 PM- 4:00 PM, from June 8-August 8,