ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Shootings, break-ins and thefts, all crimes that have many Rockford residents on edge lately, especially after a number of shootings and murders over the last few weeks. Police brass, however, said that they are listening, and actually asked residents to come and voice their concerns.

A public safety forum was held on Saturday. Some of the concerns included domestic, gun and drug violence. Officials not only talked about their concerns, but what they are doing to solve those concerns.

“I was really really glad to see that the police department is as involved as they are in the community… things that are going on. Domestic violence, the mental health issues,” said one Rockford resident.

State Representative Dave Vella held the forum for the community at Rockford University. It was a chance for residents to voice their concerns, and the resident said that she felt her and others concerns were heard.

“Everybody seem to… want to know what people’s concerns were.. want to know, you know, ‘do you have suggestions, can you get involved to help,'” the resident said. “You know, they want the community to help.”

The forum was not only to hear from the community, but also to provide an update on public safety challenges and solutions. There was discussion on the recruitment and retention of law enforcement, first responders child care, behavioral health services, assisting victims and witnesses of violent crimes as well as expanding high police camera use.

“A lot of citizens had concerns of ATVs, guns, drugs, and I think we answered most of their questions,” said Deputy Chief Tammie Stanley of the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office.

Stanley said that their number one priority to do their job effectively is communication with the community.

“Know that we are listening to them, but we also need the public’s help on any type of things that are going on in the community,” Stanley said. “Police officers can’t be everywhere at all times… so we need the citizen’s eyes and ears, videos and things that they hear, we need that help.”

Stanley wants to encourage more residents to come and voice their opinions.

“Send those e-mails, send the letters to your state reps,” the resident said. “People think they don’t get heard. They do get heard. So yeah, contact your state people, stay in touch with them, let them know that we matter.”

Vella said that he will be having more opportunities for the public to voice their opinions.