ROCKFORD - More than 100
people gathered inside the Funderburg Auditorium to talk about crime issues on
gave impassioned speeches about how their neighborhood's being taken over by
crime. The employees at Subway on
"We've been robbed six times. Two of the times the people were caught," said Kimberly Freeman, manager of the Subway.
Police now patrol the area around the Subway much more frequently than they used to patrol. Since then the employees of Subway have been able to work more safely, but police can only do so much. Rockford Police has been dealing with an understaffing problem for quite some time. That's why community leaders are arming people with information to help themselves.
"Anything you can do so you are less of a target so someone goes elsewhere rather than pick on you," said Cynthia Hall, executive director of the Neighborhood Network.
The owners of the Rockton Avenue Subway understand the need to help make themselves less of a target. They no longer keep cash in their registers, and they have changed their hours too. The sandwich-shop used to close at 11:00 PM, now they close at 9:00 PM.
"When it's dark, that's the biggest thing for me," said Freeman. "When it's dark at night you can't see what's coming and you know they can see you."
Employees at Subway try to keep an eye out for one another, the big message of tonight's community meeting: look out for your neighbors and hopefully they'll do the same for you.
"The more that you can notice that, that car doesn't belong in your neighborhood or those kids are gathering on your park or in your street and call it in, that's the way we can prevent the type of crime we're seeing right now," said Hall.
Hall says most of
the crime being committed on the northwest side is from people outside of the
community. Freeman says one of the times
the Subway was robbed, the suspect came all the way from