Police, Fire help end summer at Hillview with party
Over 400 residents live in the quiet community behind MVP Sports off Ten Mile in Hillview Apartments, a housing program established in 1972. On Thursday, August 10 the Rockford Department of Public Safety celebrated the community as a certified Crime Free Multi Housing complex with a block party complete with free food with the Corner Bar Hotdog Mover, water sprayed from a fire truck and officers handing out temporary tattoos and badges to kids.
The community just experienced a $3 million rehab and the tidy apartments and townhomes look like it. The block party was held at the community playground, which is about to likewise undergo a $25,000 overhaul.
Tracy Mogg, Regional Property Manager, said all the properties managed by KMG Prestige and owned by Hope Network are nice. She oversees 21 properties across West Michigan and a total of 491 units. The units are subsidized housing with a waiting time of over a year, and all have a strict crime free focus with the goal of providing a very safe environment for families.
Rockford Community Policing Officer Ian Graham said this is the sixth year Hillview has been part of the crime free program and it has been extremely successful. Graham said the department had had to evict a number of residents when they began the crime free program, but most of those were people living there unofficially.
A unique feature of the program is the relationship between the department and the complex management and residents. There is a strong, anonymous neighborhood watch program and blanket Freedom of Information Act agreement. “We always know when something happens on the property,” Graham stated.
To be part of the crime free designation certification safety inspections and upgrades are required, including checking door and window locks, communication channels and strictly monitoring violations of drug laws and violence.
Graham said the Department works closely with the complex administration and residents, and often interactions are simple neighbor disputes that can be mitigated, such as assigning parking spaces. He said the complex is alerted when a resident comes under police scrutiny away from home. “It’s a great relationship,” he said.
“If they are a problem someplace else, they are probably a problem here,” he said. “If we find drugs in their vehicle, they are likely to have drugs in their unit.”
Officers enjoyed their interaction with the kids of Hillview, who slid through the wet grass under the fire hose, ate hotdogs, free ice cream and enjoyed the party. Kids having a good time at Hillview isn’t something new, though. The community has been in Rockford a long time. Graham said the one and two bedroom townhomes and apartments have been a fixture here for a long time.
“If you look at the map in the City Hall office, you’ll see Hillview there. Family Fare wasn’t yet there and MVP wasn’t there. This is federally subsidized and operated under federal department of Housing and Urban Development.”
Mogg said all of the Hope Network multi housing communities are as nice as Hillview. “We take pride in it.”