Long time community activist and director of Peoria Community Against Violence Chairman Terry Burnside has announced his departure from the organization.
In a post on to facebook on Thursday, Burnside stated "This afternoon I was relieved of my responsibility as the Chairman for PCAV which is Peoria’s Community Against Violence. I wish them well in all of their endeavors in hopes of a better community."
PCAV, an organization that works to promote peace throughout Peoria while offering support to victims of violence in the city, is widely known for their 'Stand Up For Peace Events' held each time a victim of violence is killed.
Burnside, and the organization, have been criticized in the past for holding the SUFP events for individuals with past criminal records, but Burnside has always declared the organization, does not take a stance on a violence victim's guilt, instead, seeks to bring the community together in an effort to promote peace.
Gloria Clark, Burnside's co-chair said the decision came as a total shock to them both, adding that she was not made aware of the shift in the organization's leadership and fears it's progress may be halted.
"Terry was a resource of knowledge. He knows a lot of people here in Peoria. A lot of people trusted him and the information and they know if they had something to tell him he would keep it confidential if that's what he needed to do and they trusted the fact that they cared about him." she said.
She also expressed hope that whoever does take over for PCAV will be prepared to work 'in' the community to increase nonviolence, further expressing the organization was stronger with Burnside and adding, without him, its future is blurry and unclear.
Clark mentioned Burnside had been working diligently in the last few weeks, traveling to several cities and gathering information from similar organizations so that he could bring it back to Peoria to strengthen the organization.
She shared that Burnside was told Peoria Police officer Daniel Duncan is being considered to run the organization.
We reached out to Peoria Police Thursday night to confirm the information, but the Chief had already left for the day.