PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Working to lower violence, city leaders hosted another Safety Network meeting Friday morning.
The network is a work group made up of 50 organizations that discuss strategies to lower violence in Peoria.
“I don’t see this web-based structure in place that really connects us,” said Dr. Rita Ali, Mayor of Peoria.
Through trying to make connections and a web-based structure, Mayor Ali got word of a private donation of $30-40 thousand. So, the question of the meeting was, “How do you see us spending that money?” asked Ali.
The network debated options like adding more lighting and cameras to high crime areas, all the way to role model options.
On top of the donation, the Peoria City/County Health Department funded the $25,000 Cure Violence assessment.
“What Cure Violence does, it focuses on a very small geographic area almost within like two or three city blocks within a city,” said Public Health Administrator for the health department Monica Hendrickson.
Leaders from the health department said things are starting up with the assessment in a short time.
“We are looking at the first week of October of over nine sessions that will have, we hope, very much open to the public,” said Hendrickson.
She said the goal is to have a report out to the public by early November, covering intervention options and interruption models.
Hendrickson said, “They focus on the hot zones and then dive in deeper with people in the lived experience to get to the big whys of what’s driving it.”
The Peoria Public School District is also getting in on intervening with teen crime and truancy.
“There are a lot of kids that are not in school for whatever reason. They need to be in school. So working with neighborhoods, and neighborhood organizations and parents,” said President of the Peoria School Board Martha Ross.
The strategies are just getting started, with another Safety Network meeting scheduled for Oct. 8.