Don’t Shoot officials share latest program statistics

Jul 28, 2014

Peoria’s anti-violence program known as Don’t Shoot appears to be gaining ground since launching two years ago. Officials say the city has 44 fewer shooting victims so far this year compared to the same time in 2010 before the program began. They also report 31 fewer shooting incidents in that time. But the number of actual gunshot murders to date was the same in 2013 as three years before. Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis says city leaders and law enforcement are cautiously optimistic with the program’s numbers so far:

 “The reductions in shootings, felony prosecutions over the last year, and the correlation it has to the large number of people we’re arresting and prosecuting and getting convictions over. I think that what we’re looking at is a lot of these things together would point you in the direction that you’re having some success,” Ardis says.

 Ardis says the reduction in gun-related crime overall is also helped by a resident-led group called Peoria Community Against Violence.  Peoria County State’s Attorney Jerry Brady says officials are also targeting the most-violent individuals in area gangs in addition to the entire groups. He says that can help further reduce the gang coordination and activity in the city.