Officers from Metro Enforcement, a private security firm, conducted an identification check of all the residents in the 216-unit complex and detained six people who were later arrested by Rockford Police.
Four were arrested for criminal trespassing, one person for possession of marijuana and another for possession of cocaine, said Larry Hodges, director and co-owner of Metro Enforcement.
“We attempted to grab everyone we could for identification checks, and that’s what led to what we got,” he said.
What the 15 Metro Enforcement officers and two canines had was a melee resulting in clashes between nonresidents and Metro Enforcement officers.
“One person was shot with a Taser gun, and one officer was punched in the face,” Hodges said.
For liability reasons, Rockford Police officers do not carry Taser guns, but Metro Enforcement officers do carry the controversial weapons.
In addition to trespassing and drug possession charges, Hodges said he anticipates aggravated battery charges being filed by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s office.
“The state law changed two years ago where striking a security officer in the line of duty is the same charge as striking a police officer,” he said.
Concord Commons is a former Rockford Housing Authority complex that changed hands in November and is now owned by the Rockford Housing Development Corporation and managed by the Mid-Northern Management Group.
Metro Enforcement is contracted to police Concord Commons, and two other Mid-Northern Management properties, Auburn Manor and Wildberry Village, as well as all Rockford Housing Authority complexes.
“We’re just trying to get the message out that (Concord Commons) and the Housing Authority is not the place to deal drugs and take advantage of people who live there,” Hodges said.
“There’s a lot of good people who live there. There’s a lot of kids here, and we have to break the cycle. If that’s (drug dealing) all the kids see, that’s what they are going to be doing.”