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Police-Community relations board hopes for less talk, more action amid violent week

“See something, say something. This whole ‘snitches get stitches,’ thing has got to stop.”

Those words from Karen Wilson, a board member on the Peoria Police-Community Relations Advisory Committee.

This, after a violent week in the river city.

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 approximately 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 approximately 1:30a.mPeoria 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 approximately 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 approximately 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.

These are just the most recent reasons why the committee works towards solution.

“If you have something you’re not happy about, what are you going to do about it?” asked Wilson. “The only way you can change things is to have a seat at the table.”

Thursday, the commission nominated a new chair and swore-in several new members.

Among them, former Peoria City Council candidate Andre Allen, who looked 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,” he said. “I think that’s something Peoria isn’t isolated with, it’s something we have an issue with in our country.”

Other issues the board members want to address: the scarcity of grocery stores in the South side and East Bluff, employment opportunities and ensuring police and residents can effectively talk, without fear or animosity.

“Really, we need to start seeing someone as a person, and not just a uniform,” said Allen. “And vice-versa.”

“There are some things we can take care of,” explained Wilson, “and there are some things that are out of our control.

“But if we can at least look at the little things and see what we can do to rectify them, I think little things can become big things.”

Mason Dowling

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