The Rockford Police Department presented their final crime statistics for 2015 at the city’s monthly Rockstat meeting today.
Assistant Deputy Chief Doug Pann revealing that the violent crime rate went up by nearly 27%.
About a fourth of that can be attributed to domestic violence incidents, but Pann says the uptick of juvenile violent crime at the end of the year is also to blame.
“We’ve got some groups that we know are engaging in the robberies and the auto thefts, and it’s all tied together,” said Pann.
Armed robberies are up by almost 30%, while auto thefts are up by 16%. Rockford police say part of the problem stems from re-offenders. Interim Chief Pat Hoey says the man who allegedly drove drunk and killed another man on Spring Creek Rd. earlier this week was out on parole when the incident occurred.
“(It) resulted in a gentleman losing his life because this guy successfully completed a program, but didn’t successfully complete being a model citizen,” said Hoey.
Mayor Larry Morrissey says that in order to fix problems like that, they’re working on collaboration between police departments and justice systems on all levels.
“My hope is that we launch that in such a way that we have a set table where we continue to address issues and then ultimately we build partnerships where we look at the data and that will drive program enhancements (and) improvements,” said Morrissey.
Pann adds that a strategy to combat juvenile violent crime is needed as well.
“Moving forward, we have a focus on youth violence prevention,” he said. “We’re going to be developing some new strategies in concert with our partners to address those problems.”
The department says their goal for 2016 is to lower violent crime by 5%. That’s down from the 10% goal they had in 2015.