Central Illinois participates in Night Out Against Crime - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Central Illinois participates in Night Out Against Crime

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PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

People in communities across the country will join police in the annual "National Night Out Against Crime".

In June, Peoria Police Chief Jerry Mitchell said Peoria had been seeing an uptick in violence that had been going on since January. 

Chief Mitchell attributed the increase in violence due to the large number of guns police confiscated, 144.

So far there have been six homicides this year. 

The city went the entire month of July without a murder, although there were 8 shootings.

Mitchell said violence is down due to a focus on identifying and locking up repeat offenders.

"It makes us feel better, we'd really like to be number one and next year even better.  But we know that if we can trend this way; then we're in a better place.  Anytime in a year where we have less gun violence is a great year," said Mitchell. 

Chief Mitchell said that there have been 38 shootings since January in Peoria, the third lowest year to date. 

He said in 2010 when crime was at a peak there were about 80 shootings by this time of year. 

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