Residents talk crime prevention at neighborhood meeting - – Rockford’s News Leader

Residents talk crime prevention at emergency neighborhood meeting


Many of the folks who live in Rockford's 'Rolling Green' neighborhood say they've seen crime rates in their area go up, and they've finally had enough.

An emergency community meeting was held this afternoon as residents try to come up with a solution to what they call a crime problem.

Elsie Burpo has lived in the Rolling Green neighborhood for more than 40 years. She says she has watched the area change, but was confronted by it for the first time this past December.

"I was robbed on a Sunday night, they broke the door down, I wasn't home. Now I'm scared, you know," says Burpo.

That wouldn't be the last time crime made it's way into the area. A shooting took place on West Gate Parkway on August 23rd.  A 25-year-old man was shot in the upper back that night. He survived. Investigators have issued arrest warrants for the two men they believe are responsible.

Heather Vecchione, President of the Rolling Green South Neighborhood Watch says, "It was more targeted than anything, they knew what they were doing. But it's not going to happen, this does not happen in our neighborhood and we don't want it to continue."

At ten this morning, residents filled Heartland Church. The neighborhood meeting was lead by city leaders who gave their best advice on how to prevent illegal activity from happening.

"Keeping porch lights on, remember to lock your windows, close your garage doors when you leave, when you see something, call the police," says 8th Ward Alderman Jeanne Oddo.

Oddo recommended that residents install motion sensored lights on the outside of their homes.  But most of all, neighborhood leaders want to see people get involved and work together.  

"If they see anything, they hear anything, don't hesitate. Call a neighbor, call the police. Get it out there. Let it be known that we're watching and this is our neighborhood, and we're going to keep it our neighborhood."

"It's only a matter of time if we don't do anything about it now it's going to spread," says John Delaney, a Rolling Green Neighborhood Resident

The Rolling Green Neighborhood Association also has a Facebook page where any member of the Rockford community can post information that might help others avoid becoming the victim of a crime.  

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