Council discusses options to combat recent crime including adding cops

By Audrey Wise

September 24, 2013 Updated Sep 24, 2013 at 10:33 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- With three murders within three days last week, city council members took an opportunity Tuesday night to address the crime concerns after a fairly light agenda.

Council members discussed the idea of increasing the police force to allow for more saturation patrols in high-crime areas.

Some also brought up the Don't Shoot program and the upcoming gunshot detector Shotspotter.

First district Councilwoman Denise Moore said she supports both programs, but believes social issues like job creation could be the root of the tackling the problems.

"If we're not willing to spend what it takes to correct these problems, rather, to just keep putting band-aids on them and calling them fancy names like Don't Shoot and Shotspotter and whatever we need to bring in then we're going to keep getting what we have," said Moore.

Meanwhile Chief Settingsgaard reminded the council that Don't Shoot is in it's first summer, and it is a long-term program, "While Don't Shoot is working on the long term problem, we continue, it doesn't replace the typical police work that we always employed to attack what's happening today."

Chief Steve Settingsgaard said in the coming Don't Shoot call-ins they will be targeting the gangs they have discovered to be involved in the recent week of crime.

He adds, while two of the crimes involved the same family, he does not believe any of the events last week to be related to one another.

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