ORCHiD Neighborhood residents rally together against violence

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With the warmer summer months on the horizon, a group of Rockford neighbors come together to take a stand after one of their own has a close call. Their goal is to make sure recent violence doesn’t escalate to tragedy.

Glass was still in the driveway Tuesday night after a stray bullet, fired from a block away, hit a Rockford mom’s car window Monday.  Fortunately, the bullet missed her kids who were playing in the front yard nearby.

“My son, he heard it, it went right passed him and he heard it hit the car,” said the mother who is still shaken and asked to remain anonymous.

“It went straight through tearing everything up, out the other side and there was tons of kids out here,” the anonymous mother said. “My kids will not come back out in the front here. I just couldn’t have them out here, I don’t feel safe.”

Her neighbors in the ORCHiD Neighborhood, stepped up for her and showed violence is not welcome on their streets by having a “Lessons From Our Lawn Chairs” meeting for everyone to see.

“To support my neighbor who had her vehicle shot while her children were playing in her front yard,” resident Lois Ginter said.

“We’ve been trying, like I said, close to 20 years trying to clean up the neighborhood and we feel like we’re finally getting some where and when something like this happens, we want to put our foot down and say it’s not going to happen again,” Becky Lichty, President of ORCHiD Neighborhood Association, said.

Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea says residents showing up in numbers and getting involved is the right move.

“Even if you get ten neighbors together, there’s 11 houses on the street and ten neighbors want to go out and tell that one neighborhood house we’re going to sit out here, we’re going to watch you, and we’re going to write down license plates, and we’re going to call the police, that’s fantastic,” O’Shea said. “That’s taking back your own neighborhood.”

“We’re the eyes and ears and we work directly with the officers,” Lichty said.

No arrests have been made yet in Monday’s shooting.

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