PEORIA, Il. – "We’ve seen over the past few years People are gearing towards grabbing a gun instead of fist fighting,” said Peoria Police Chief Loren Marion.
Peoria’s 2018 criminal homicide rate has doubled that of 2017. As of Wednesday, 22 people have been killed that’s more than the last two years combined. Marion still believes the city is safe as the department continues to investigate.
“At this time we don’t see any connection in it,” said Marion. He explained, “We definitely want to get a hold of the situation and prevent any retaliatory shooting form happening. “
To sweep violence off of the streets members of Peoria Community Against Violence hope to help kids in schools, guiding children’s decisions and enhancing life goals for those in need.
“We would like to see the churches, community leaders, and schools become more involved,” said PCAV Vice President Gloria Clark. She adds, “The violence must stop, it has to stop.”
Police cannot stop all crime, especially shootings that can be difficult to predict. While officers are patrolling the streets, Marion says it’s on the community to help reduce the violence.
“We know that there are several witnesses to several of these incidents so we’re asking the community to say that they’ve had enough of it and come forward, cooperate with us so we can close these out,” said Marion.
The Peoria Police Department also pointed out that while homicides are up the amount of shootings and victims have both decreased over the last two years.