City hall meeting held for Peoria's Don't Shoot program

By WEEK Reporter

November 21, 2013 Updated Nov 22, 2013 at 12:45 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- A town hall style meeting was held tonight at the city hall to discuss Peoria's Don't Shoot program.

Recent arrests stemming from the program have left some members of the community confused about the direction Don't Shoot is heading.

The panel--including Mayor Jim Ardis, Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard, and U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis--answered questions from the audience and media.

Most questions were geared towards the success of the program in its first 15 months.

"It's one main goal is to get young men to stop pulling triggers. If all it does is that, and it reduces the gun violence, fewer men shot, fewer men killed, fewer men in prison, it's been a success," said Peoria Police Chief Settingsgaard.

"For anyone to suppose that a program, in this case Don't Shoot, that is going to address it and stop it in a year, a year and a half, two years, it's just not realistic," added Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis.

A new program is set to launch in January connected with the Don't Shoot program--called Don't Start--focusing on being proactive with students who show at risk behaviors.

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