PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Cue the sirens and flashing lights! The Peoria Police Department on Friday will be escorting the Peoria High Lions in a parade from the high school to Peoria Stadium to pump up the players and the community for the big game.
“We want to be here to root them on. We’re not just here when something bad happens. We want to be part of the good too,” said Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria.
Echevarria said Peoria High, and the community at large, have “had a rough couple of weeks”, so this is a great moment for the community to come together and support the home team.
“‘I’m hoping that people come out of their homes, bring up some cards that say ‘go team’, ‘go Peoria’, ‘go Lions.’ We’re here for you, and we just want to make it a fun moment for the team and for the neighborhood itself and have some school pride and city pride,” he said.
Echevarria said most often, people deal with the police on their worst day. He wants to improve the dynamic between police and the community.
“I think the community needs to know we’re part of the community. We’re not this agency that’s just here that comes in and leaves at the end of the day,” he said. “We’re neighbors, we work for this community … We want everybody to know, from the babies to the elderly, that we’re here for you.”
The parade starts at 5 p.m. from Peoria High, then continues up North Street, taking a right on E. Nebraska Ave., a left on Wisconsin Ave. to War Memorial Drive, and then a left into the stadium located at 315 E War Memorial Drive.
The football game between the Peoria High Lions and Normal Community Ironmen kicks off at 7 p.m.