Preventing crime in Rockford homes and on our streets isn't just a job for those who wear a badge. Citizens can help, too. Progress is being made all over the city, with people keeping a close watch over where they live.
Neighborhood watch groups work separately towards the same goal, safety in their area.
"It seems like it helps and people are glad to be doing it I think." -says Ed Vera Neighborhood Watch Organizer Paul Plasters.
The Ed Vera Neighborhood Watch group, on the city's near Southeast side, has only been around a few years, but residents notice a crime drop. Rockford police and firefighters stop by during meetings to keep people informed and answer questions. Plus, gatherings offer chances for neighbors to get to know one another, turning strangers into friends. There are still things to work on, like reporting suspicious activity.
"We're trying to get all of our own neighbors to call the police department themselves, that way they get all the information to them that they need." -says Plasters.
Boyd Glovier has lived on Rockford's near South side for 50 years. He's witnessed plenty of illegal activity in his neighborhood near 10th Street and Broadway.
"You see prostitutes, you see people coming in to buy drugs and fights occasionally." -he says.
That's different from farther northwest in the Edgewater neighborhood.
"Fortunately, there are not any pressing problems right now." -says Edgewater Neighborhood Association Board Member Jeff Orput.
The association still educates residents on ways to stay safe through a newsletter.
"It updates them on information on how to take a positive proactive approach to crime or litter or anything like that." -Orput adds.
Glovier recommends everyone form a watch group to clean up neighborhood problems.
"Call the police, call somebody and let them know about it. It would help tremendously in cleaning up the neighborhood." -he says.
Here's a list of local neighborhood watch groups, meeting times and locations. Find the one closest to you.
Church Hill Grove Neighborhood Association Meeting
- 3RD WEDNESDAY @ 7:00 PM Feb. 20th
- LOCATION: 1526 HARLEM
Coronado/Haskell Neighborhood Association
- 3RD WEDNESDAY @ 5:30 PM Feb . 20th
-LOCATION: STEPPING STONES - 706 N MAIN ST
Olsen Plaza/North Main Manor Neighborhood Association
- 3RD THURSDAY @ 2:00 PM Feb. 21st
-LOCATION: NORTH MAIN MANOR - 505 N MAIN ST.
Ed Vera Neighborhood Association
- 3RD TUESDAY @ 6:30 PM Feb. 19th
- LOCATION: 3408 ED VERA DR
Keith Creek Neighborhood Association
- 3RD THURSDAY @ 6:30 PM Feb. 21st
- LOCATION: REDEEMER LUTHRAN CHURCH, 827 16TH ST
South 6th Street Neighborhood Association
- 3RD THURSDAY @ 6:00 PM Feb. 21st
- LOCATION: SALEM LUTHERAN CHURCH - 1629 S 6TH ST
Marshall Street Neighborhood Association
-3rd MONDAY @ 6:00 PM Feb.18th
- LOCATION: ROCKFORD UNITED - 3126 MARSHALL STREET
West Gateway Coalition Neighborhood Association
-EVERY WEDNESDAY @ 10:00 AM
- LOCATION: HENRIETTA SCHOOL
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