ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — New statistics show that Rockford’s crime fighting strategies may be working, but the police chief and mayor both said that there is still a lot of work to be done.
The city is already seeing an uptick in violence so far this year, but most crime last year was down compared to 2021.
“We are purchasing more technology to really be force multipliers out on the streets,” Mayor Tom McNamara said. “License plate readers so we can track where these criminals are coming and going from, camera so we can have a greater opportunity to put our eyes on these individuals and have great camera footage of people who are wanted out there in our community to make people aware.”
Violent crime in 2022 dropped 8% from the year before. McNamara credits that to new technology as well as widening the area where gunshot detection software is being used, as well as increasing the number of officers on the street.
Of that violent crime, 38% was domestic. While that number looks high, Police Chief Carla Redd said she is proud that more survivors are coming forward.
“When you look at the efforts that have been taken across the city to support the survivors of domestic violence, and having them feel more comfortable and coming forward and seeking assistance, I mean, that’s just huge,” Redd said.
The number of robberies were also down, but Redd said that is not good enough.
The robber numbers were a bit discouraging,” she said. “Like I said, granted, we saw a slight decline there, I think it was 4%. That’s not good enough for us.”
McNamara believes that the root cause of a majority of the violence comes from youth who are seeing it at home. The goal is to help them while they are young to end the circle of violence.
“Guns, auto thief, home invasions. Those youth, 60-75% of them grown up in a household where there was physical or sexual violence,” he said. “Whatever the trauma may be, they deserve some hope and opportunities, and we have to invest heavily and intentionally in that.”
McNamara and Redd stressed the importance of everyone doing their part in working together to fight crime. They urged people to use the “Tip 411” app.
If you are a survivor of domestic or sexual violence, visit our Stateline Strong page for resources.