ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford Park District leaders talk safety and security Tuesday night. It comes after four people were shot in Sinnissippi Park on July 23rd, leaving two men dead.

Officials with the park district laid out of all of the safety strategies that they want to implement to board members.

Executive director of the park district, Jay Sandine, says, “What we want to see is our parks being used the way that they were intended to be used.”

After-hour park gatherings has become an increased problem. Park district Police Chief Theo Glover says the gatherings usually happen in the early morning hours after local bars close.

“We wanted the board approval to go forward with purchasing some security measures and as well as maybe additional officers,” Glover explains. “More police officers equal less crime. We want to show a presence in all these areas within our footprint and we feel that in doing so we would lessen the opportunity of the gatherings or any type of criminal activity happening.”

Some of the safety measures include barricades or gates, cameras, and lighting.

The estimated cost of these investments would be $435,000. While Sandine thinks this issue is a result of covid, he says funding does not reflect that.

According to Sandine, “I think we were kind of left out of that federal discussion even though when COVID hit and everything was shut down, where did people go? They turned to their parks, trails, or open space. They relied on the park district heavily. So it’s been hard for us to support our community and not have any of the funds that were available to everyone else.”

Chief Glover adds that they are revising ordinances to increase consequences, like trespassing, for example.