Rockford Police encourage after school programs to prevent juvenile crime

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford law enforcement agencies have joined a national effort to prevent juvenile crime.

Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea and Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross visited the “Lights On” after school program at McIntosh Elementary School, at 525 N Pierpont Avenue.

A new report shows that after school programs can help keep kids out of jail.

O’Shea said it’s important for police to make an impression on children while they’re young.

“That’s when we have to reach kids. You can’t reach… by the time kids get to middle school or high school it’s too late,” he said. “Not too late, but it’s much more difficult to change patterns of behavior and as you guys see us do all the time, try and build relationships with kids.”

28 percent of juvenile crime in Illinois happens in the after school hours.

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