BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO)- Numbers released by the Belvidere Police Department on Thursday show a drop in crime in the City of Murals from 2019 to 2020.
Numbers show burglaries dropped by about 40 percent during that timeframe, while assaults were down 20 percent. The number of theft and vandalism cases tumbled as well. Belvidere Police Chief Shane Wood says a commitment to community policing, and working with the public, is contributing to the change.
“We want to have that enforcement side, of what is necessary, but we have to have that relationship building so they do feel comfortable reporting those crimes and cooperating with us,” Woody said.
Crime in Belvidere has been consistently declining over the last several years, according to Woody. He thinks participating in solidarity walks and demonstrations across the city in the wake of George Floyd’s death last summer allowed the department to connect with community members who may not otherwise interact with law enforcement.
Woody say continuing to build community relationships will be key to keeping crime trending downward moving forward.
“So we have to work a little harder to build those relationships so people get to know us and trust us. Ultimately, policing has changed over the years, and it’s our responsibility to explain to them and show the community what we do and why we do it,” Woody said.