The Peoria County Sheriff’s Office and the Peoria Police Department held services to honor fallen officers this week. Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard says the main purpose of the ceremony is to never forget those officers who died in the line of duty:
Peoria police officer John McCavitt faces child pornography charges. His criminal investigations continue. McCavitt posted bond and was released after being charged with 10 counts of child pornography.
Area law enforcement officials are calling on the state to boost its funding for early childhood education. Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy, State’s Attorney Jerry Brady and other police chiefs worked with the ‘Fight Crime, Invest In Kids’ group to release a report detailing the need for more funding. McCoy says more child care assistance money could help keep people out of jail in the future:
After years of declines, meth use in east central Illinois jumped last year. The state registered the fifth-most methamphetamine lab seizures and arrests in the country in 2012. That’s as meth use continues to drop nationally. Cheryl Silver of CU-CitizenAccess takes a look at what’s driving the increase and why law enforcement officials are scrambling to get a handle on it.
CU-Citizen-Access is an online community news site based at the University of Illinois.
Regional leaders gathered in Peoria Thursday for the 39th annual Mayor's Leadership Prayer Luncheon. About 500 people attended the event. Mayor Jim Ardis says the annual luncheon allows people of all faith to show unity as a community.
A recent investigation by the Georgetown Advocate revealed the chair of the psychology department of Millikin University in Decatur spent six years in an institution being committed criminally insane. Professor James Saint James once went by the name Jim Wolcott.
Peoria Police are looking for a suspect in a double shooting Sunday that killed a 17-year-old boy. Police say Marquis Costic is wanted in the shooting at Warren and Butler Streets that left Treyshawn Blakely dead. Police say another unidentified person was shot during the same incident and taken to a local hospital. Costic is described as a five-foot-seven black male with braided hair. Police say they did NOT recover the semi-automatic murder weapon at his home, but did find other weapons. Costic is considered armed and dangerous.
The Peoria Police Department is applying for a federal grant as part of the community's anti-violence initiative. The Don’t Shoot program is based on the book by David Kennedy and addresses ways law enforcement and the community can reduce violent crime. Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard says the Department of Justice grant request is for about $700,000 over three years. He says it would pay for some of Kennedy’s staff at John Jay College to help Peoria officials with the program:
The legal team representing Johnny Savory was back in a Peoria Courtroom Thursday. The Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth and Northwestern Law Students are asking, among other things, to have new DNA technology applied to the blood evidence in the 36-year-old double murder cases for which Savory is convicted. Savory was 14 years-old at the time of the gruesome murders of 14-year-old James Robinson and 19-year-old Connie Cooper. He was paroled in 2006. Savory contends his conviction was unjust:
It’s an aggressive multi-strategy anti-gang and gun violence program designed to decrease shootings and get the most dangerous criminals off the streets. Led by Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis, the initiative creates partnerships among federal, state and local prosecutors, law enforcement, outreach specialists, community leaders and media. Never before has Peoria seen such comprehensive collaboration from key stakeholders in implementing a zero-tolerance message towards violence.
The centerpiece of the program is a focused deterrence strategy enhanced by an innovative community-wide education and outreach program crafted to thoroughly incorporate all segments of the citizenry of the Greater Peoria area. Using offender-based policing strategies, police and prosecutors send a specific message to a number of high-risk individuals that gun violence will not be tolerated. Then, the strategy includes communication about community programs that will provide services to help them on the road to a better and more productive life. As part of the message, these high-risk individuals are told that any future gun violence will result in the full force of federal and state law enforcement. They are put on notice and they know law enforcement eyes are on them.
Peoria Police are making slow but steady progress in Denise Leuthold’s murder investigation. That’s according to Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard. The 39-year-old Luthold was found shot to death in her home in the 700 Block of West Mossville Road last Thursday. The chief says there were signs of forced entry at the home and some items were taken. However the chief says there is no reason for people to panic or feel security is of extra concern. “I don’t see a lockdown or soft lockdown as necessary. This crime is several days ago, whomever the suspect is has moved on.