From kids creating their own musical beats, to plenty of grilled pork chops, to even a full-on K-9 demonstration — a Southeast Rockford neighborhood block party had it all on Tuesday.
And with the weather cooperating, kids from the Palomino Parkway neighborhood were able to play games with officers, get their faces painted, and bowl. All of this while parents got the opportunity to talk with those who protect their streets.
“I think it helps them to know that we’re out here for them. We’re here for them. We do a lot of stuff to help them,” says Angel Sparks, a Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office Explorer.
Tuesday’s block party comes after a recent spike in gun crime across the city.
Two people were shot and killed in broad daylight last week, including a 16 year-old girl.
A map shown in the video attached shows several red dots, each of which represents a different shooting in the area. So far, police have made no arrests in any of them. Several of those shootings happened in neighborhoods.
Winnebago County Sheriff’s Senior Deputy Tammy Stanley says if residents watch out for each other, it can make their neighborhood more secure.
“To get the neighbors together and if there’s something suspicious going on, they’re not afraid to call the police. And just to get to know the neighbors if they’re on vacation, they can look out for them,” she says.
“It’s been quoted time and time again we can’t do this alone. It takes the community to get involved, you know, to assist us in solving crimes and preventing crime in general,” says Andrew Perino, a community service officer with the Rockford Police Department.
Police plan on holding more events like this in the future to continue building relationships with citizens, and strengthen neighbor-to-neighbor bonds.