PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria leaders are calling for more action and solutions when it comes to combating violence.

Seven months into 2022, and the city is clocking in at 12 homicides.

Although Peoria had 16 homicides at this time in July last year, those in the community said this year still has 12 too many. The violence is prompting community leaders like Terry Burnside, House of Hope’s executive director, to call for less talk and more action.

“I’m just at a point. We’re meeting to be meeting and people’s lives are being lost, people are dying,” Burnside said.

“We got to strategize, we have to mobilize, and get in front of this thing,” Burnside said. “Instead of meeting to be meeting. We need to start coming up with plans of action.”

The latest murders Mariah Moss, 21, and Quintin Scott, 19, were killed on Saturday and Monday, respectively. The latter worked at Peoria’s Friendship House alongside Marcellus Sommerville, the organization’s president and CEO.

“It’s a lot in terms of gun violence and where things are today,” Sommerville said. “It’s in a better place than it was a year ago, but it’s still not where it needs to be.”

Sommerville said he doesn’t remember the level of violence being as high as it is today as it was when he was growing up in the city.

“I’d like us all to be mindful that we’re discussing human beings and we can’t become numb to it, and we have to do something,” Sommerville said.

He highlights some of the city’s resources that he used growing up to keep kids off of the streets, such as the Carver Center at 710 W Percy Baker Jr Ave. Sommerville said it’s going to take the entire community to move the city toward change for the better.

“We have to get more individuals with like mindlessness on the ground,” Sommerville said.

The subject of crime reduction has been a hot topic at city council meetings this year.

At the city’s last council meeting in June, members listened to two presentations at the meeting: one for the Safety Network Initiative, or S-NET, and the second for Amani.

During the same meeting, in a 6-5 vote, council members shut down the idea of using $25,000 to allow for the organization Cure Violence Global to come in and conduct an initial assessment of the city. This action struck a chord with the Peoria NAACP branch.

The organization posting on Facebook it will hold a press conference Thursday outside city hall in response to the council’s June 28th meeting.

The post said, “with little to no regard to the plight of Black children and citizens life safety, six white councilmen quickly voted down the mere $25,000 for the Cure Violence assessment.”

The post claimed “many of the council members made disparaging, condescending, and dismissive remarks toward efforts to bring solutions” and the NAACP along with community leaders will “join forces to address this abuse of power, by our government leaders.”