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4 shootings, 4 days: New members of Peoria’s ‘Police-Community Advisory Committee’ plan to address violence

A quick recap for anyone who may have missed the string of Peoria violence in the first week of August.

Shooting #1: August 5th at 6:27 pm, Peoria Police responded to a ShotSpotter alert in the 400 block of East Arcadia. 17-year-old victim found on Peoria Street with a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his abdomen.

Shooting #2:August 6th at appx. 12:00pm, Peoria Police officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert in the 200 block of E. Corrington Avenue. Male victim found with a life-threatening gunshot wound lying in the street.He was located on N. Peoria Avenue at the intersection of E. Maywood Avenue.

Shooting #3: August 7th at appx.1:30a.m. Peoria Police responded to the 2400 Block of N. Atlantic. Officers found a male victim who’d been shot in the shoulder.

Stabbing #1: August 5th at appx. 3:00a.m Peoria Police responded to the 3000 Block of West Trewyn on a report of a person being stabbed. Victim had non-life threatening injuries

Shooting #4: August 7th at appx. 9:30pm. Peoria Police responded to two ShotSpotter alerts of multiple rounds of gunfire.  The victims age and gender weren’t released, but a PPD officer says the victim was found inside a car with non-life threatening injuries.

As always, police remind the public they can’t solve crimes alone and they’re asking for your help in more ways than one.

The advisory committee for police community relations is one way Peoria residents can not only bring tips forward, but also put major concerns under the microscope…

The board members say they’re prepared to address the scarcity of grocery stores in the South Side and East Bluff and employment opportunities.

That, along with ensuring police and residents can effectively communicate, and of course…reducing Peoria violence.

Wednesday evening, the committee nominated a new chair, and swore in new members – including Karen Wilson, a dedicated Patient Access registrar at Unity Point Health and former Peoria city-council candidate and Dean of Students at Methodist College, Andre Allen, who says he’s looking to hit the ground running.

“One of the things I’m excited about tackling is men in the relationship between law enforcement and the community. I think that that’s something Peoria isn’t isolated with, it’s something we have an issue with in our country.” Allen explained.

Meanwhile Karen says she knew if she had a problem with the violence and lack of resources throughout the city, that she needed to have a seat at the table to address it.

“As a whole, the city is focused on out by grand prairie and 91 and the riverfront district and I feel like the heart of the city is dying. There’s nothing going on. When you’ve got grocery stores closing and retail shops closing and the mall is barely hanging on…there’s a problem there.” Wilson pointed out.

Among the other committee members are At-Large councilwoman Dr. Rita Ali, Chief Demario Boone, Director of Safety for Peoria Public Schools and Peoria Police Chief Loren Marion III.

Their meetings are held every second Thursday pf the month on the 4th floor of the Peoria City Hall building, but they remind residents – they don’t need a meeting to speak up.

Lauren Melendez

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