Mayor says "Don't Shoot" program on target

By Denise Jackson

September 24, 2013 Updated Sep 25, 2013 at 10:11 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard has hinted that the city may host a second 'Don't Shoot" call-in next month following a week of gun violence and gang activity.

Police began the anti-crime initiative a year ago, with a crackdown on repeat violent offenders. Many of them included members of street gangs, like the Bomb Squad.

Members of the Bomb Squad and two other gangs are believed to have been involved in four weekend shootings, including a murder on Stanley Street.

Chief Settingsgaard said authorities could revise their enforcement strategy because gang members do not seem to be getting the message.

However, Mayor Jim Ardis said police believe the program will have the kind of impact they want.

"We don't expect everybody to feel better just because we say this is a blip on the radar. We know that there's concerns," Ardis said. "The chief is addressing those outside of the "Don't Shoot" initiative. He has things he puts in place for the short term."

Ardis said despite the recent increase in violence, overall crime in the city is down compared to last year.

However, there have been 12 homicides so far this year, compared to 10 for all of last year.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.