FBI report: Crime down 5.9 percent in Rockford
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released the 2010 preliminary Uniform Crime Report and reported that national levels of both violent and property crime declined in 2010 from the previous year’s data. The Uniform Crime Report contains eight index crime categories — murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson (index crimes).
As noted in the preliminary report, which compared the number of index crimes in 2010 to the number of index crimes in 2009, Rockford experienced a 5.9 percent crime reduction over the course of the year. In 2009, we had 10,703 index crimes compared to 10,071 in 2010 for a net reduction of 632 incidents.
The preliminary Uniform Crime Report did not include arson category, and these incidents will be reflected in the final 2010 Uniform Crime Report.
Rockford leaders are positive about the improving trend. However, there is still concern as violent crime has increased 9.5 percent while property crimes decreased 9.6 percent.
Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson said: “Although our overall crime has decreased, aggravated assault incidents with firearms have increased. Our violent crime rate is too high, and we are focusing our deployment strategies to combat weapon offenses, high-risk locations and high-risk individuals. In mid-2010, we identified in our monthly Rock Stat analysis and COMPSTAT process a violent crime trend of aggravated assaults, and we have been concentrating our resources to effectively address this trend. We are very proud of the fact that as of May 14, 2011, our aggravated assault incidents have reduced 10 percent compared to the same time last year.”
The Rock Stat analysis and COMPSTAT process is a vital and effective tool for police operations and deployment of police resources. This process allows for an effective method of crime deployment based on an analysis of criminal incidents, patterns and trends. Timely and accurate crime information along with effective deployment of resources along with relentless follow-up has positioned the Rockford Police Department well with our crime control strategies.
“Our department and personnel are committed to working with all citizens in order to reduce the level of crime,” Epperson said. “We have and will continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners in addressing violent and property crime incidents and offenders, and work with our citizens and Neighborhood Watch Groups to reduce crime in Rockford.”
The preliminary report has sparked some controversy with a recent Wall Street Journal article, which reportedly ranked Rockford, as the ninth most violent city in the U.S.
Rockord Mayor Larry Morrissey (I) said: “The WSJ analysis just looks at one piece of the crime rate puzzle. We are taking a complete and comprehensive approach to crime prevention and crime reduction, and the result is that our crime rate continues to go down. As it relates to the violent crimes, we are in agreement that the numbers are unacceptably high. There are too many guns on the street, and too many repeat offenders on the street who should be in jail. We are aggressively targeting this aspect of our crime rate, and we urge the State’s Attorney’s Office and our judiciary to make it our collective No. 1 priority to keep violent, repeat offenders off the streets through aggressive and swift policing, prosecution and sentencing.”6-0 in favor. Members of Northern Illinois Tea Party were among the residents and interested parties attending.
From the July 13-19, 2011 issue
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