Police Chief Comments On Violent Week in Peoria

Published 09/23 2013 06:43PM

Updated 09/23 2013 11:01PM

PEORIA - Police have stepped up patrols after a string of violent crimes in the River City. Since last week, we’ve reported on three homicides and countless shots fired. Several people have been hospitalized and some innocent victims have been caught in the crossfire.

Chief Steve Settingsgaard said, “We knew this was going to be a long fight, and it is going to be a long fight but this flare up this last week is unfortunate.”

Several violent crimes have happened in multiple neighborhoods around the River City. Settingsgaard said this amount is rare, and the crimes have been mostly gang related.

He said it’s a lifestyle that involve solving problems with the pull of a trigger. “They turn to guns. They turn to violence as a result and we end up with someone dead.”

Three homicides in two days and several people injured. Including a Pizza Hut delivery driver, who was shot while on the job.

Settingsgaard said the city’s anti-violence initiative “Don’t Shoot” takes time to fully implement, but he is planning to speed up the pace in order to crack down on these kinds of crimes. “I think we've gone too long between call ins and this is something again, we're new in this process so we're going to be moving that pace up much quicker.”

Getting guns off the streets is still the department’s number one goal, but Settingsgaard said in the meantime you’ll see more of his officers on patrol. “We're going to be mobilizing extra resources and putting them on the street for the near future and focusing on the areas where the gun violence is taking place so those folks that are living in those communities that are probably a little more fearful than normal, you will be seeing more uniform police on your street.”

Chief Settingsgaard said gun violence is still down, compared to last year. He said the suspects and victims involved in the string of crimes are Peorians. Police don’t believe any outside people are contributing to the violence.

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