Peoria Police Chief Loren Marion III

Tim Shelley / WCBU

Peoria Police Chief Loren Marion III said cannabis legalization is concerning to law enforcement, but may also offer some positives.

He says it takes an officer two to three hours to process an average cannabis arrest. Legalization will free up a lot of that time and expenditure, and also unclog backups in the court system. He said there may also be perception improvements for police.

Peoria's Harrison Homes residents have a new place to seek assistance.

Located within a former apartment, the Harrison Homes Resource Center will evaluate resident needs and provide appropriate solutions. 

Peoria Police Chief Loren Marion III said a civilian city employee assigned to his department will staff the office a few times a week. The goal is to connect residents with a wide range of needed resources, such as transportation.

Peoria City Council via YouTube

The Peoria Police and Fire Departments are not meeting their own goals for hiring more minorities. 

While approximately 30 percent of the city's residents are African-American, only 12 percent of fire department personnel are black. Of 175 personnel, there are 30 minorities and women. 

Peoria Fire Department Division Chief Tony Ardis said the issue is also evident when future promotions are considered. There are 11 African-American fire captains, but Ardis told city council members last night that retirements may come before promotions for many of the captains. 

Local police will permanently have to report data on the race of people they pull over or search under a new law signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker.

PEORIA -- Peoria Police Chief Loren Marion said a lack of cooperation from people with information is hindering the investigation into the shooting death of 4-year-old Jeremiah Ward. 

Marion said Thursday that community involvement is vital for police trying to solve crimes. 

"We still have individuals that are not cooperating with the police, and that is what is frustrating for me and the detectives and the officers of the police department that we have a dead 4-year-old, and people are not coming forward," he said. 

Peoria Police Chief Officially Named

Nov 16, 2018
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria Police Department officially has a new chief who’s familiar in the role. Loren Marion has served as interim chief for the last nine months. He’s been with the department for 23-years, is an Army veteran and a third generation police officer.

He takes the post as the police department is losing 16 full-time positions. But those vacancies and more already exist, and Marion says a few more retirements are still expected with the city’s buyout offer.