By Kathryn Menue


BELVIDERE – On Wednesday, June 8 at 1 p.m., members of the Belvidere Police Department celebrated the opening of the new soccer park on the corner of Christi Lane and Highline Drive in Belvidere and the start of the police department’s Summer Community Policing Outreach Initiative.

Belvidere Police Chief Jan Noble said that the program has been in the “planning stages for the past several months” with Deputy Chief Tony Martin overseeing the program.

Over 50 people were in attendance from the community and from local organizations as Chief Noble welcomed everyone to the new soccer park.

“We’re here to share some great information with you this afternoon,” Chief Noble said.

The information included that the Summer Community Policing Outreach Initiative will have a Belvidere Police officer present at the park every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. from June 8 through Aug. 8 with the exception of July 4 and inclement weather days.

Officers will be at the park to “discuss community policing programs” and to “hand out crime prevention materials” such as gang awareness and community outreach brochures, along with information about reaching out to Boone County Crime Stoppers.

Outreach 2Police officers also will be available to hear and assist with any concerns community members might have, as well as bonding with the local youth so they can learn more about the police department.

Plus, the police will offer special initiatives like ice cream and granola giveaways on Fridays along with other giveaways during the week.

“We want to get kids to play in a nice, safe environment,” Deputy Chief Martin said.

Chief Noble said this will allow kids to get to know officers and know that police officers are there to help them and that they are their friends.

“In order for you to trust us, you need to get to know us,” Chief Noble said.

This also will allow the police department to connect with a part of the community that is “underserved,” although the park is open to anyone.

The Belvidere Fire Department will join officers on Fridays for the outreach program along with city officials when they have the availability.

Belvidere Fire Chief Al Hyser said that he grew up in the area and that he is “looking forward to coming out on Fridays” to shoot off the fire hose on hot days and connect with the community youth.

According to Mayor Mike Chamberlain, Byron Bank helped make this initiative a reality by donating the land to the Belvidere Police Department.

Mayor Chamberlain said it was wonderful that the “public and private sectors” could work together to create this new soccer park.

“I think this is a great step for the neighborhood and for the community,” Mayor Chamberlain said.

Byron Bank representative Leah Kays was glad that the bank could help create this space for the community.

“I love the program the police are putting on for you,” Kays said.

Bryon Bank hasn’t been the only organization instrumental in creating the park and initiative.

Deputy Chief Martin thanked other organizations for participating. These include: the Boone County Health Department, the Boone County Conservation District, the Belvidere Park District, the YMCA, the Rockford YWCA, and the Belvidere Fire Department.

Other organizations have pitched in with sponsorships, such as General Mills, Dean Foods, Berg Industries, and Crime Stoppers.

This event also allowed the police department to announce the new Community Policing Coordinator, Officer Tim Blankenship.

“I look forward to getting to know everybody,” Officer Blankenship said.

For more information on the Summer Community Policing Outreach Initiative or on other Belvidere Police Department outreach programs, contact Officer Blankenship at (815) 547-6312 or by email at Blankenship@Belviderepolice.com.

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.