Falling crime numbers for Rockford despite 7 homicides in less t - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Falling crime numbers for Rockford despite 7 homicides in less than a month


Crime statistic for last year are out. Overall Rockford Police say they are down. Some of the worst offenses are falling. But even with the downward trend, the last few weeks have gone against that.

There has been 7 murders in less than a month. The ages of the victims are 4, 6, 24, 24, 15, 28 and 22. The most recent shooting Monday night, left two dead and two others hurt. But the numbers show despite those statistics the crime rate in Rockford for 2014 fell.

 "Our gun crimes, aggravated assaults and shots fired have come down," Chief Chet Epperson.

 According to the Rockford Police numbers group A offenses, which include the most serious crimes like murders, aggravated batteries and sexual assaults are down almost 4-percent. Burglaries are down almost 11-percent and prostitution is down 7-percent. On the opposite side, robberies are up almost 7-percent and auto theft by 4 percent. One city alderman says he's happy with how the police are doing their job.

 "I think when you look at it over all the city the crime is down over all the areas and that's positive," says Alderman Frank Beach.

The biggest drop comes from shots fired, those are down 22-percent. But in the last few weeks that has not been the case.

"Since December 19th through January 12th, that is not including last night. We had 25 incidents of shots fired that's an average of one a day so you can see those shots fired happen way too often," says Deputy Chief Dave Hopkins.

Hopkins heads up investigative services for Rockford Police. Its run a couple major operations in 2014 including Operation Hydra and Thunderbolt to go after gangs and drug dealers. Police plan to use that same strategy in 2015.

 "We are going to repeat the success of Hydra. It's identifying people, places, using the most promising cases that we can identifying those responsible and holding them accountable and that means jail," says Hopkins.

Police are also changing how they will fight crime this year. They are getting ready to transition fully to geographic police throughout the city. Last year they did only did that in the near-east portion of Rockford.

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