Very rarely do you get the chance to the see the police dancing, getting their faces painted, or hosting a party.
But Tuesday night at Dahlquist Park was a different story. “It’s nice to see them doing things from a different perspective,” said Rockford resident Cyndi Marks.
Rockford Police, Park District Police, and the Rockford Fire Department are just some of many who took part in ‘National Night Out’. The nation wide holiday allows residents to meet the men and women who protect them.
“It’s about taking back the streets, having safe streets, having a safe community , and showing everybody that we can all get along,” Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea said. O’Shea believes the department’s standing in the community has improved in his short tenure. That involvement is what Mayor Tom McNamara thinks is a key element to solving investigations.
“Honestly a number of the crimes that we solve are because of citizen input,” McNamara said. “We wouldn’t be able to get that input if we don’t build relationships which foster trust,” he added.
Cyndi Marks has lived in Rockford her whole life. She grew up with a Rockford Police Sergeant as her neighbor. She says that experience taught her that residents should never fear the ability to talk to law enforcement.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions, inquire,” Marks said. “If you just sit and wonder instead of vocalizing your concerns, you might miss something that could very valuable to you at some point and time,” she added.