The murder rate in Rockford and Winnebago County was down in 2017. That's compared to 2016, according to the Rockford Police Department.
In 2016, police recorded 26 murders in the city; 12 of those have been cleared with charges. In 2017, that number decreased by 10 with 16 murders; seven of those were cleared with charges — leaving the city with a 43 percent solve rate.
For both the Rockford Police Department and the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office, a decrease in violent crime is what they strive for.
"Over the last month or so — the last 6 weeks, we have been really lucky with getting cooperative witnesses, having a lot of investigative leads" said Lt. Karl Whisenand with the Rockford Police Department.
"It's wonderful, if crimes down in the county, it's good for everybody" said Chief Deputy Mike Schwartz from the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office.
Whisenand says it's not only the department responsible for putting these crimes to rest.
"So much of it is depended upon the cooperation we get from the community" Whisenand said.
On top of community input, Whisenand says a shift in investigative tactics has played a role as well.
"Once we were able to focus our efforts on people rather than places, that started to lend itself to a lot more success stories," Whisenand said.
Those efforts have lead to an increase in solve rates and a better line of communication with the county.
"We share intelligence information, if not on a daily basis definitely a weekly basis about the crimes that are occurring," Whisenand said.
"Both detective divisions work real well together, they share information" Schultz said.
They say collaboration spans to solving multiple types of crimes.
"We've been able to successfully solve numerous burglaries specifically over the past year" said Schultz.
A trend both departments say they hope to continue into the new year..