Freeport police are investigating three unsolved murders from this year. Mayor Jim Gitz calls the unsolved crimes "anomalies." But he says there are ways the police force is trying to build trust within neighborhoods to prevent future crimes.
"It is a very big deal when Freeport has a homicide," Gitz said. "People know what happened...but they are reluctant to come forward."
He says officers are returning to a community-oriented policing system to rebuild trust between officers and residents. That includes bicycle and foot patrols, citizen academies, and neighborhood watch programs.
Gitz also says the city needs to set a new tone that Freeport is not a sleepy town that puts up with crime.
"We could solve these homicides tomorrow if the right people came forward. As it is, there have been interrogations, there have been interviews, there's ongoing investigations, there's a lot of resources being expended and I am certain they will get solved and the right people will be brought to justice," Gitz said.
The three deaths do not appear to be related.
Last week, Freeport police made an arrest in a decades-old cold case. David Ellis will have a preliminary hearing later today in Stephenson County court. He is charged with killing a Freeport man in 1987.