Warmer weather usually means more problems at Rockford Housing Authority complexes. Thursday, shots were fired at Blackhawk Housing, no one was hurt. But RHA and police are not waiting to take action.
"Last summer we had increase in crime in our public housing projects particularly Blackhawk and we had an increase in aggravated discharge incidents, shootings. We want to partner with the people at the Rockford Housing Authority so that we can get our officers and their armed security guards on site during the peak times," says Lt. Darin Spades, Rockford Police Department.
There is also a plan being put into place to change some of the roads through Blackhawk.
"If you look at the way the roads are laid out it's a straight shot and if you look at the incidents of drive-by shootings last year it was because I think because you can very easily shoot, speed through and drive on," says Ron Clewer, Rockford Housing Authority, president/CEO.
Two years ago, Clewer says there were 353 arrests on all RHA complexes, 41 were residents. In 2013, there were about 289 arrests, 52 residents. So they know the problem is not necessarily the people who live there but they also cannot just pass the problem off to changing streets and more police enforcement.
"Presence alone isn't the only solution. We definitely need the residents to be a greater part of the solution. So our folks need to stop letting these folks on the property. They need to be educated and aware that if they do there are unfortunate repercussions to them as well," says Clewer.
The other plan is to start having weekly meeting at Fairgrounds and Blackhawk Housing Complexes, which usually have the highest arrest rates to determine what other actions by police or management are needed.
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