Last week Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 8:00 p.m., a man posing as an employee of an alarm security company had approached several homeowners, inquiring about their current home security systems and/or their interest in a obtaining a home security system. A vehicle was not seen by the caller. The subject walked up the driveway. The subject is described as a white male, mid-late 30s, average build, five feet 10 inches up to six feet tall, with short brown hair and sideburns. He was carrying a file-type case, and had no brochures or business cards from the security company he was stating he represented. The homeowner had their garage door open and several lights on at the house. The alarm company was contacted and stated that they do not send sales representatives out into the community to solicit their service. If someone comes to your house soliciting an alarm system, please contact the Rockford Police Department at (616) 866-9557.
Rockford Police Department
Solving parks/property destruction the result of problem-solving efforts “It was Rockford’s shining night,” Police Chief Dave Jones described the evening ceremonies on Tuesday, October 10, when the entire Rockford Police Department earned the distinction of being the Outstanding Unit of all the members of the Crime Prevention Association of Michgan. Jones made the bold move of nominating the entire department for the honor that usually goes to a committee or group of officers whose duties are dedicated to community policing. With 13 officers, Jones said every officer in the department is trained in and implements community policing practices on a daily basis. He said community policing goes beyond outreach programs such as D.A.R.E and National Nite Out and said problem solving policing is at the core of community policing practices. If you feel safe in our local parks lately, thank community policing. Jones described a four-prong model of problem-solving his department implemented over the course of years to curb increasing vandalism incidents Rockford faced a few years ago. With the acronym SARA, for Scan, Analyze, Respond and Assess, the long-term result are a good example of community policing in action. Not long ago, there was a chronic problem in downtown with youth incidents of destruction and even harassment. The Ten Mile Bridge overpass was awash in graffiti. A toilet in the Welcome Center was blown up. Welcome signs to the City were repeatedly destroyed. Picnic tables, gazebos and benches were being damaged repeatedly. “It got to the point people didn’t feel safe in our parks, particularly the fitness trail to the west of Richardson-Sowerby Park,” Jones said. He said that area had become a congregating area for drug use and dealing, profanity. “We all know kids will be kids, but when people didn’t feel safe, we felt it was time to take action.” Jones said fighting the escalating vandalism wasn’t a quick-fix and started with a grant that allowed the department to install cameras for areas where vandalism was occurring. He then set aside some of his part-time budget to hire officers who were dedicated to park patrol during the summer. Rockford’s Department of Public Service was also enlisted. “As soon as an incident took place, they cleaned it up,” Jones stated. “If they […]
On Tuesday, October 12, the entire Rockford Police Department was recognized by the Michigan Crime Prevention Association (MCPA) as the number one department in Michigan for community policing. It is an honor usually reserved for a department’s community policing officers, and in Rockford, that includes every officer on the force. “It may seem like an odd request, nominating an entire Police Department for a unit award, but the entire police department consists of 13 officers… every officer practices the skills of a community policing officer every day.” Jones stated in the application letter. The two-page application includes a list of the many community policing programs in which the Rockford Police participate. “I am really proud of the effort this department puts in,” said Jones. The policy of pro-active interaction with the community on many levels was introduced about seven years ago when Jones came on board as Rockford’s chief. Jones said seven years ago, if you had asked a police officer here about community policing, “You probably would have gotten a blank stare.” “We went from novice to excellence in a relatively short time and that is really something to be proud of.” Community policing programs in Rockford include D.A.R.E., Neighborhood Watch, Business Watch, Child Identification and Safety, Shop with a Cop, Crime Prevention Site Assessment, and an amazing 20 more programs. Rockford competed for the recognition of top in the state for community policing with other law enforcement members of the organization, including some very large departments such as the Grand Rapids Police Department, the Detroit Police Department and the Ottawa County Sheriff Department. Jones pointed out that the officers perform all of these extra duties on top of their day-to-day requirements. “This year was a good one to receive this award because the City celebrates its 75th anniversary as a City this year,” Jones said. He noted that the MCPA annual conference, held this year in Traverse City, includes a week of training. This year’s topic is child safety and Jones said many of Rockford’s programs focus on preventative measures to keep kids safe. He is teaching the seminar on Rockford’s child safety program which offers free fingerprinting and a safety video. Rockford officers are working 12 hour shifts this week so as […]
The Rockford Police Department, working with the Drug Enforcement Administration and other law enforcement partners, will participate in a one-day event intended to collect potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. On Saturday, Sept. 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. a collection site will be set up in the lobby of City Hall located at 7 S. Monroe in Rockford. This service is available to anyone wishing to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs. The Rockford Police Department also offers a prescription drug drop-off box located in the City Hall lobby daily during business hours. Additional information about the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day may be found by going to www.dea.gov or by calling the Rockford Police Department at (616) 866-9557.
“This is an investment in our children.” D.A.R.E. Officer Dave Jehnzen and Rockford’s Chief of Police Dave Jones spoke before the Plainfield Township Board Monday, May 3, asking the township to continue to support D.A.R.E. Jehnzen took time to describe some of the highlights of the program and answer the board’s questions. Plainfield Township has long been one of the community supporters of the D.A.R.E. program, which reaches children in the Rockford Public School district, including Our Lady of Consolation schools. Plainfield Township has budgeted $10,000 for D.A.R.E. Algoma Township, which has yearly donated $5,000 to D.A.R.E., withdrew funding this year. “D.A.R.E. is not about drugs. It is about good decision-making,” Jehnzen said. Chief Jones estimates over 100,000 children have been through the program since the City of Rockford Police Department took over the program in 1999. Prior to that the Michigan State Police ran D.A.R.E. Jehnzen’s D.A.R.E. duties feature working with fifth-grade students in a 10-week curriculum, covering the hazards of alcohol, tobacco and peer pressure, as well as making good friends and decisions. D.A.R.E. has a presence in all grades, K-12, but has a separate program for seventh- and eighth-grade students. “It is a completely different curriculum in the older students. We bring things back from the fifth-grade discussion, and move on to more age-appropriate material,” said Jehnzen. Jones said that funding D.A.R.E. is crucial, and the program will close if funding sources dry up. “Costs have gone up over the years, but we have never asked for an increase in funding,” Jones said. The City of Rockford has absorbed the increased cost of wages for the D.A.R.E. officer and supplies. A golf outing is now helping fund D.A.R.E, opening up opportunities for anyone to show their support of the program. Businesses and individuals are invited to help support this program that has touched the lives of every student in the Rockford Public Schools district. The annual D.A.R.E. outing is scheduled for Thursday, June 24, 2010, at Boulder Creek Golf Club. Sponsorships are as little as $125, with limited availability sponsorships from $2,250 for dinner to $250 for a hole-in-one contest. The day’s activities include lunch on the course and a buffet dinner after the event. The cost to participate is $100 per […]