PEORIA, Ill. — Illinois state officials are conducting a survey on crimes against the LGBTQ community.

The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority recently said research shows LGBTQ individuals experience crime, especially violent crime, at a higher rate.

The state is looking for 18-years-and-over LGBTQ participants to take the survey. Officials said the survey will help inform how to disperse funding and state and local policies.

Nathan Neilson, Vice President of Peoria Proud, said he believes the survey is a long time coming.

“I think the fact that they’re acknowledging there’s a need for this survey is a great thing,” Neilson said. “Just the fact that they’re concerned that they’re not doing enough is a step in the right direction.”

Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell said hopefully when the survey is complete, it will be another useful tool to aid in the fight toward equality.

“It’ll give law enforcement help on how we build policies in an effort to make the community a safer place,” said Asbell.

Asbell also mentioned the Peoria County Sheriff’s office is an advocate for both the acceptance and understanding of the LGBTQ community.

The survey can be taken online or by mail with a paper survey. To take the survey, click here. Results are expected to take a little under a year before they are released.