PEORIA (WEEK) – Residents of the East Bluff met with police and city leaders today as Peoria deals with the aftermath of a violent weekend.
That meeting, at First English Lutheran Church, was needed because residents say it became clear other efforts failed to curb violence in the neighborhood.
East Bluff resident Willa Lucas called for tonight’s meeting, saying constant shootings are ruining her neighborhood.
“People are scared…and they’re angry,” she said. “People are moving — people that aren’t moving, want to move.”
Lucas said while efforts have been made to combat violence, it’s clear there still isn’t a strategy that works.
She acknowledges that police can’t be everywhere all the time but said that efforts could be made to create a better relationship with the community.
“Having a presence in the neighborhood makes a difference,” she said. “Waving at people when you go by.”
And she hopes to see the same from elected officials.
“I’m hoping that we get a renewed commitment to the East Bluff not only from the police department but from the City of Peoria,” she said.
Frustrated, she reached out to every public official she could asking for a meeting to address resident concerns. Public officials like councilman Tim Riggenbach agreed such a meeting was necessary.
“The violence has just stepped up to such a level, I can’t explain it,” he said. “This meeting tonight that we’re having with the police and the community is going to be important for folks to vent their frustrations, to let the police know what they see on the street.”