Recent violence motivates Freeport city leaders to change public - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Recent violence motivates Freeport city leaders to change public safety

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FREEPORT (WREX) -

Freeport city leaders create a road-map for making their surroundings safer.

"If you're a criminal and you live off of society and you come to Freeport or you grew up in Freeport, you better clean up your act or you better get out of Dodge." -says Mayor Jim Gitz.

Recent violence has city departments wanting change. There have been two murders in Freeport the last couple months. So leaders drafted a new Public Safety Plan.

"There are elements within it, whether it be specific community policing strategies or Problem-Oriented policing initiatives we're doing that have and will continue to make immediate impacts on crime and disorder, but the plan overall is not a quick fix for something, it's something that's going to take time." -Freeport Police Chief Jerry Whitmore announces Thursday.

The draft lists six goals, from improving neighborhoods and community relationships, to honing in on where the crime is.

"The newest thing that we're involved in is going to be the data-driven policy decisions. We're in the process of developing an internal crime mapping analysis system that we can use to make intelligent decisions about our resources and about where we're putting our officers, the times our officers are out there and the decisions we're making about crime reduction in our community." -Chief Whitmore explains.

City leaders say they want community support.

"We want their involvement, we want their feedback, we want comment, retired officers they may have comments as well. If we need to make any changes in the plan we will make them, we will adopt it, we will implement it." -Mayor Gitz adds.

The plan also includes possible changes regarding tobacco and landlord ordinances. That will be up to city council members to approve. Mayor Gitz hopes the proposal will be completely implemented within the next couple months.

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