Rockford city aldermen vote to add more surveillance cameras to combat crime

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — In an effort to help police track down criminals, Rockford aldermen take the first step to putting more eyes in the sky. The plan is to add surveillance cameras in certain parts of the city.

After a weekend riddled with crime for RPD, they are one step closer to installing additional surveillance equipment that can quickly help put criminals behind bars.

“We’re going to expand our current system now by four additional intersection cameras,” explained Assistant Deputy Chief Robert Reffett.

Surveillance cameras are a vital tool for the Rockford Police Department when putting together the timeline of a crime or accident.

“It helps get vehicle descriptions, get license plates, sometimes we can zoom in on that. It also allows us to be able to monitor the intersections for car accidents and any other types of situations that may occur,” Officer Reffett added.

The department currently has 22 surveillance cameras used to observe busy intersections throughout the Forest City. On Monday, Rockford city council members voted to add four more.

“We try to place cameras where we feel that there is the need, you know, the areas where we have higher rates of crime, locations that we frequently look for our investigative purposes. Whether we’re going out to the community, looking for residential cameras or businesses, we want to put our cameras in those locations so that we have our own cameras,” Ofc. Reffett said.

Officer Reffett says the cameras are not typically used for traffic violations. Footage is instead referenced during investigations.

“If there’s an incident, we go back to that camera, we can look at that camera, we can download the footage. Then we can keep it for however long we need it. But if there’s nothing going on and the camera is just running, it’ll record over itself over a period of time,” the Assistant Deputy Chief said.

The departmnet plans to have the new cameras up and running by October.

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