Solving violent crime in Peoria or at least policing it

Sep 25, 2013

The recent uptick in gun violence in Peoria has the attention of the City Council. It was a topic of conversation under new business during Tuesday night’s meeting. 

Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard says the recent spike in crime has been hard on his 217 person department. 

“We’re not staffed to handle three murders in three days in addition to the home invasion issues and all the other things that are happening in the city and still trying to do the proactive police work we are doing. That taxes us.” 

Settingsgaard says detectives and officers are working long hours, and the department is trying to fill 10 vacancies.

First District Councilwoman Denise Moore says she's told the Don’t Shoot Program needs time to work. But she says while time passes, people are dying. She says people need to come together with creative sustainable ideas to reduce violence. 

“We can complain about it nine ways to Sunday, but unless people actually stand up and come out of their houses and say ‘I don’t have money Denise, but I have time.’ Or ‘I don’t have time but I have a job.’ Or ‘I don’t have a job but I have training that I can give. The city can’t do this alone.” Moore says. 

Fourth District Councilman Jim Montelongo says the answer is adding more police officers. 

At-Large Councilman Ryan Spain asked if current practices could be tweaked. 

As Council was wrapping-up the discussion on the recent violent crime streak, emergency responders were called to Manual High School parking lot for a man who had been shot.