Rockford’s police Chief Dan O’Shea says he wants to build on the city’s strong neighborhood initiative. The city has three strong houses. They are on Irving Avenue, Revell Avenue, and 8th Avenue.
Strong houses are homes where officers are stationed at sporadically throughout the week, getting to know the area and cleaning up crime.
O’Shea says he would like to see an officer permanently live in trouble areas.
He says, “[The officers] don’t report to a patrol shift, or traditional policing. They live there; they have neighbors knocking on their doors asking them to solve problems for them.”
If the officer has a family, they could move them there as well. O’Shea’s says the homes would have alarms and cameras to ensure the officer’s safety, and police would still patrol the area.
The chief says, “The officer that lives there, he’s a police officer, or she’s a police officer. They’re very well trained on protecting themselves, and they will have the neighborhood backing them in a short order of time.”
O’Shea’s says the program has been successful in other cities, and thinks it could do the same in Rockford.
O’Shea says, “We’re the police. Once we establish a house in the neighborhood, and we commit to it, we’re not going away. And whoever those individuals are who don’t want us there, we’re gonna outlast them.”
O’Shea hopes to have the program up and running next year.