2012 has Rockford Police restrategizing, especially over burglar - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

2012 has Rockford Police restrategizing, especially over burglaries

Chief Chet Epperson (middle). Chief Chet Epperson (middle).
CompStat meeting on crime statistics in Rockford. CompStat meeting on crime statistics in Rockford.

The odds of you having something stolen in Rockford increases. The uptick in crimes has Rockford Police taking a different approach for 2013. But as the police department reviewed its crime stats from 2012 it was not all bad news.


13 News already reported murders are down. There was also a decline in robberies and prostitution. But crimes like burglaries rose triple digits. Rockford Police say they have made too many stops at people's homes and businesses because someone's broken in.


"In the past several months there has been a recent spike not only in district one but city-wide," says Lt. Steve Perry.


In 2011 there were 1,804 burglaries.  In 2012, that number jumped to 2,170. That's more than a 20 percent increase.  Police Chief Chet Epperson blames repeat offenders.


"Our Prisoner Re-entry Network is to concentrate on those individuals who are repeating the same crimes. You know some people who are on probation or parole, specifically parole are out repeating crimes we need to put a GPS bracelet on them. We need to monitor where their activities are as opposed to if they are back out on release, either on probation or awaiting trial and going out and committing more crimes. It just drives up our crime rate," says Chief Epperson.


The idea of going after repeat offenders has been an on-going strategy by the chief. He also plans to use the weekly crime analysis numbers to move officers around the city to target criminals.


"Instead of putting these people in patrol areas like we've always done, we are going to take those resources and put them where the hot spots are. So what you should see is an increase in enforcement hopefully driving those numbers down because we are putting people right where it's happening," says Lt. Perry.


The other big jump in crime numbers came from burglaries to motor vehicles or theft from motor vehicles. While in part of the city aggravated batteries and shots fired mainly saw a decline, in District 1 which encompasses mainly the west side, the was almost a 30 percent increase.


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