Local law enforcement calls on Rockford citizens to help combat climbing crime.
Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea, along with Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana, and Transform Rockford leaders asking the public to attend a Thursday night event on improving public safety.
“We’re inviting the community to be a part of conversations about building plans to make our region one that is safe,” said Mike Schablaske from Transform Rockford. “And a place where our residents also feel safe.”
Rockford police say there’s been an increase in youth crime, robberies, and gun violence-including just this past weekend.
Three robberies occurred within a span of eight hours on Monday.
A man was robbed at gunpoint in the 1700 block of Riverside.
Ten minutes later, another robbery as the victim walked into a CVS pharmacy on Alpine.
Hours later, another armed robbery at the Fasmart on 11th St.
Three robberies, zero arrests.
Crimes that add up to people feeling unsafe.
“I think it’s a critical issue for our community,” said Schablaske. “Safety is a cornerstone issue for our region’s transformation. You know, the progress we’re already seeing in our region needs to be supported with further improvement in the area of safety.”
Police say part of the problem is that Rockford faces so many challenges.
“We have to deal with domestic violence, we have to deal with the youth violence, we have to deal with the child abuse. We have to deal with the gun crimes, the robberies, the drug crimes, the heroin epidemic…” said Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea. “There’s so many concerns.”
They’re taking steps towards combating that crime, but say they can’t do it alone.
And that’s where the community comes in.
“The most important thing is that we continue this partnership with the community, with transform, with Rockford, with the sheriff’s office, and we keep growing it,” said Winnebago County Sherriff Gary Caruana. “And that’s the most important thing.”
That meeting will be this Thursday from 5:30-7pm at the Klehm Arboretum at 2715 S. Main St.
If you can’t attend the event on Thursday, there is an online survey where we can still provide information and opinions on the Rockford area.
That survey can be found at http://transformrockford.org/ and will remain open until September 16th.