After record year for homicides, Peoria sees signs of waning violence

Peoria Police
Peoria Police(WEEK)
Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 5:09 PM CST
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PEORIA (HEART OF ILLINOIS ABC) - Peoria is receiving a break from deadly gun violence, but not before establishing a record high of 34 homicides this year.

There has not been a homicide from a shooting since Thanksgiving. Police Chief Eric Echevarria is grateful, but can’t say for sure what’s causing reduced violence.

Echevarria does say police have been working hard to solve crimes.

“We’ve been out in the community, we’re going to continue to engage, and we’re going to continue to follow up on these cases,” said Echevarria.

Meantime, the chief said he’s keeping a close eye on the mental health of officers and detectives investigating violent crime.

They’ve been working long hours, but mental health training is available year-round, and new state mandates ensure officers will see a social worker or psychologist in the next year.

“It’s important for us to let our officers know we care for them. It’s a very hard job, it’s a very stressful job, a lot of hours and the families that are behind these officers supporting them, also need support as well,” Echevarria said.

The department is also hiring 10 new officers. Candidates for those positions have until January 10 to submit their applications.

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