PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A multi-agency effort between the Peoria Police Department (PPD), the Illinois State Police (ISP) and the U.S., Marshals Service came together for the second time last week to crack down on violence in Peoria.
Overall, 50 vehicle stops were conducted, 15 arrests were made, 18 tickets were issued, six stolen cars were recovered, and 5 illegal firearms were seized.
The police said this certainly will not be the last enforcement detail Peoria will experience this year.
“There’s no time to celebrate, there’s no time to celebrate. It’s only been twice, we have a long road ahead of us,” said Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria.
Chief Echevarria said the department will continue its community outreach with walk-and-talks, forums, the new youth task force and more.
However, he said he will not let last year repeat itself. The City of Peoria saw the highest level of homicides in years.
“Our city does not have to settle for it,” Echevarria said. “We don’t have to say, ‘this is just Peoria, this is how it is.’ We don’t have to do that.”
He said the success of the police detail comes from the community support behind the anti-violence initiative.
Second District Councilman Chuck Grayeb said the success also comes from the new city budget. Adopted in November, he said it allows for more resources and more officers on the streets.
“So this multi-agency effort is paying off,” Grayeb said. “And it will continue until we break the back of criminality that’s been plaguing this city.”
He said too much violence is done by juveniles and too many funerals involve young people.
“If kids are able to do adult-like crimes, they’re going to have to accept some serious consequences,” he said.
First District Councilwoman Denise Jackson said she is optimistic the violence will go down and happy with the efforts made thus far. But she said more needs to be done on a community and parental level.
“Most of the homicides this past year involved young black males. And that’s very disturbing to me. That says to me that we’ve got to find a way to reach these young people to find out what they are so angry about,” Jackson said.
Both city and police leaders said the violence in the city will not be tolerated as we enter the new year.
The multi-agency task force will continue its “random” enforcement details.
“You don’t know when we’re coming, but we’re coming,” Chief Echevarria said.
He also said PPD needs the public’s help to reduce crime in Peoria. He said if you see something, say something. “tip411 Anonymous Tip Reporting and Alerts” is available to share information anonymously.