Back in 2006 and
"Our goal was to have monthly meetings and have the police come and make citizens comfortable with the officers being in the neighborhood," said Jay Larson, vice president of the Keith Creek Neighborhood Organization.
The neighborhood organization said many of the problems stemmed from a basketball court where an open-air drug market took place. Now the court is replaced with a skate park that neighborhood kids frequent and enjoy.
"You can drive
The decrease in crime is also related to the knocking down of dozens on those abandoned homes. Neighbors are still waiting for all of them to be demolished.
But the fact is
crime is down in the neighborhood and Sgt. Carla Redd of the Rockford Police Department
says it's due in fact to the alertness of neighbors in and around
"They're just being really active," said Redd.
"When they see suspicious activity they don't wait for an incident to occur to call the police, they'll call it in before there's a burglary just when things aren't looking right," said Redd. "That's what we encourage all residents to do."
Redd says tonight's event brings the police and residents together to make them aware that they're there as friends. She says sometimes people feel nervous to call the cops.
"We have resident that don't want to feel like they're bothering the police, but that's out job, you're not bothering us," said Redd. "We need them to report those suspicious activities when they're seeing them in the neighborhood."
This year marks the 29th annual National Night Out. Redd and the police department hope tonight's event will help spur others like the Keith Creek Neighborhood to get involved and help fight crime in the Forest City.