Mayor Jim Ardis addressed violence within Peoria after Wednesday’s State of the City address.
Tuesday’s homicide on Thrush marked Peoria’s fourth homicide within the past two weeks. Ardis said the city needs to focus its efforts on better relationships between police and the community. The mayor says officers cant be everywhere, so citizen engagement is needed to fight crime.
“What we’re focusing on as a community is to try to make the neighborhood safe,” said Ardis. “When there’s a situation like this and somebody has the information we have to get that information to the police department.”
Ardis referenced Peoria Community Against Violence (PCAV) saying the organization is one of many groups working to bridge the gap between officers and the community. Mayor Ardis says PCAV gives Peorians a safe space to discuss issues in their neighborhood that can be communicated with officers.
“It’s important right now that people view that [PCAV] as a safe organization,” added Ardis. “So they can get involved with them and communicate information back to the police department.”
Ardis said he believes a lot of the violence stems from altercations that can spiral into a murder, “These are situations that are nearly or practically impossible for law enforcement to do anything about.” The mayor said he believes if neighbors become more comfortable with police, the relationship could help them fight crime together.