‘You wanted our attention now you have it’: Peoria Police Chief announces increased resources, focus on juveniles committing violent crimes

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria on Wednesday announced increased resources to tackle violent crime.

2021 has been deemed Peoria’s deadliest in years, with a record 34 homicides including several teenagers killed.

“We’re here because acts of violence continue to plague our community,” said Echevarria. “Police will arrest individuals who are carrying guns illegally, participating in illegal activities, committing acts of violence, dealing illegal drugs and committing gun crimes. Remember this choice is yours.”

Using empirical evidence from police reports and ShotSpotter, resources will be allocated to areas that need them most.

Echevarria warned repeat offenders they will be arrested if they continue to commit violent crimes.

“You wanted our attention now you have it,” he said. “Our entire police department is now focused on you and your associates. The message is very clear. Enough is enough, stop the violence.”

Second District Councilman Chuck Grayeb said next year’s public safety budget is the “most robust” he has voted for. An additional 30 police officers and targeted policing are part of the plan.

“We hope to see a lot more arrests and proactive work with juveniles who are out of control,” he said.

Grayeb said repeat offenders have been put on notice.

“Time’s up. The city has declared war on you, and we will arrest you and we will make certain you will pay for your crimes,” he said.

Grayeb will host a public safety meeting at 6:30 P.M. on Thursday at St. Mark’s School to address violence in the community.

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