While more efforts are in the works to curb crime in the River City residents are doing what they can to step up to sweep violence off their streets.
“I hear gun shots all the time and it’s really been getting bad lately,” said Peoria resident Forrest Holcomb Jr.
Life time Peoria resident Forrest Holcomb Jr. has seen too many of his friends and family members fall victim to violence. But Holcomb is not letting the crime in his city be ignored, with the help of the community, he continues to help as many children as he can.
“Save a Child is a program where we try to detour children away from guns, drugs, violence, and being bullies,” said Holcomb. He adds, “If we can get more kids into the program I think it would help this area very much.
Holcomb believes the time for change is needed now more than ever. Especially after two separate overnight shootings injured five people in Peoria.
“When we were coming up we would have a little duke fight, and the next day you’d be friends again,” Holcomb explained” He adds, “ Now they hold grudges and want to shoot or stab you.”
While police do not know if the two shootings are connected Captain Mike Scally with the Peoria Police Department believes it’s up to the community to be mentors for today’s youth.
“However you’re brought up with the people that have influences on you that’s where you go in life,” said Scally. He adds, “It’s important for people to take an interest in our youth in our community, they are our future and if you don’t have a future that’s not good.”
Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell runs a ‘scared straight’ program out of the jail.
There, troubled teenagers have one-on-one conversations with inmates who share stories about how to avoid going down the same path as they did.