Rockford neighborhood looks for answers for week-long crime spre - – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford neighborhood looks for answers for week-long crime spree


Many people in Rockford's Midtown District hope a new work week brings a stop to nearly seven days of violence. Community members say something needs to change and it can't just be with the police.

"I think it's senseless all the violence that's been going on," says James Jordan who lives in the neighborhood.

In the last week Rockford's Midtown District has seen two business owners stabbed, a man killed on 15th Avenue after two cars shot at each other. An armed robbery at a liquor store left one of the men trying to rob the business shot. And there was a second incident Sunday where people in two cars shot at each other, three people went to the hospital.

"The problem will not erase as long as you stay in your home, I stay in my home and I stay in my home. Or we just kind of go about our lives. It will eradicate and it will lower if we all collectively come together and say enough is enough," says Robert King, Booker Washington Center, executive director.

Booker Washington Center oversees the anti-violence group Ceasefire. The center's executive director says if you are angry about what is happening in the neighborhood, volunteer for Ceasefire or start your own group.

"Everyone in this community has something to offer. Everyone," says King.

Rockford Alderman Karen Elyea heads up the 11th Ward. She thinks the area started to look like a target when she stopped seeing police on the streets.

"I think it was because there was a decrease in patrol in the area over the last few months, I think now that they've increased patrols again we'll see the crime go back down," says Elyea.

But not all residents are as hopeful.

"Be careful, it's a mess out here and it's for real," says Jordan.

Independent candidate Jaime Salgado who is running against Elyea says there has not been a consistent police presence in the 11th Ward. He wants to see more resources allocated to the area.

Rockford police say they are targeting the area with officers walking around the neighborhood and more squads patrolling.

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