Marengo police chief pushes vigilance in wake of burglaries

MARENGO – Police Chief Joseph Hallman is looking for vigilance and timely communication from residents in the wake of a rash of burglaries.

Hallman and the police department will host a community meeting at 7 p.m. today at Marengo City Hall for residents interested in learning about crime watch initiatives, such as Neighborhood Watch and CrimeStoppers.

Residents will learn how to start watch programs in subdivisions and best practices for managing the neighborhood groups, Hallman said.

The meeting comes after residents last summer questioned police response to an uptick in residential burglaries.

“We need their help,” Hallman said. “I’m not going to sit here and say we can do it all alone. We need our citizens.”

Hallman also has invited McHenry County Undersheriff Andrew Zinke to speak about the sheriff’s office’s recent efforts to respond to burglaries in the area. The sheriff’s office alerted area residents about two incidents last month in which homes of people attending funerals were burglarized.

Officials from the Belvidere Police Department also will speak about their city’s Neighborhood Watch program. The city has had success with it, with 12 active neighborhood groups, Hallman said.

Hallman had the idea for a community meeting after residents in Marengo’s Brookside Meadows subdivision started the city’s first active Neighborhood Watch program last summer. He said he hopes to capitalize on residents’ renewed concern about area crimes after seeing community crime initiatives go dormant in recent years.

Residents in the Deer Pass Greens subdivision are working with police to create their own program.

“I’m not trying to make people paranoid,” Hallman said. “We are just trying to get the awareness out there and get people interacting with the police a little more because we do need their assistance in providing a healthier community.”

If you go

What: Marengo police talk crime and communication in Marengo neighborhoods

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: Marengo City Hall, 132 E. Prairie St.

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