City of Peoria to get $200,000 for anti-gang program

By Vanessa Johnson

October 29, 2013 Updated Oct 30, 2013 at 10:55 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- On the eve of the second "Don't Shoot" call-in, state Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth has announced $200,000 in state funding for Peoria's "Don't Start" program.

A runoff of the Don't Shoot Initiative, the pilot program focuses on targeting students at risk for joining gangs.

Gordon-Booth said it is important to invest and promote anti-gang initiatives while children are still in grade school.

"If you can give a young person an opportunity and something they can believe in, and help them to find their own lane in grade school, by the time they get to high school the gangs don't necessary seem to matter. You already belong to something," said Gordon-Booth.

Carl Cannon of the ELITE program will spearhead Don't Start.

He intends to implement the program in February at schools like Trewyn.