Divided Peoria City Council rejects violence assessment on second try

Council votes 6-5 against conducting Cure Violence assessment
Council votes 6-5 against conducting Cure Violence assessment(City of Peoria and YouTube)
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 2:53 AM CDT
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Peoria will not spend tax dollars on a violence assessment based on the idea that violent crime is a health problem.

The city council Tuesday night voted 6-5 against paying $25,000 in American Rescue Plan money to the group called Cure Violence Global to conduct its “Cure Violence Assessment.”

The vote came on the same day Peoria had its 10th homicide of this year, and follows the city’s deadliest year ever in 2021 in which Peoria recorded 34 homicides.

The council was evenly split a month ago, with one of its members absent. All were in attendance Tuesday. No votes came from Dennis Cyr, Chuck Grayeb, Zachary Oyler, Timothy Riggenbach, Sid Ruckriegel, and John Kelly.

Mayor Rita Ali, Denise Jackson, Elizabeth Jensen, Kiran Velpula, and Andre Allen voted in favor of the assessment, but were in the minority. They sided with Monica Hendrickson, the Peoria City/County Health Department administrator who urged the council two weeks ago to adopt the measure.

“Gun violence is a public health crisis,” Hendrickson said.

However, Councilman Grayeb said at an earlier meeting the Cure Violence group wants to do the work based on “crazy assumptions.”

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