Increase in homicides, means an need for increased neighborhood - Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Increase in homicides, means an need for increased neighborhood safety

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With the murder of two young adults in Bloomington this past Sunday, the homicide rate in that McLean County city is already well beyond last year's level. 

Statistics tend to show an uptick in crime during the hot summer months. We spoke with the McLean County State's Attorney and Public Information Officer. They say even more interaction with the public will help solve these investigations.

The Bloomington Police Department's Uniform Crime Reports data showed in 2016 they had three homicides and in 2017 zero. So far this year they have had three.    

Elias Mendiola with the Bloomington Police Department admits it's an increase.                 

"We can only speak for Bloomington and what's occurred here, but yes," said Mendiola. 

One homicide is too many, let alone several. We asked Mendiola and the McLean County State's Attorney why there may be a spike in homicides. 

"When people ask me, what's the cause for that, it's just a collective and a degree of chance," said McLean County State's Attorney Jason Chambers. 

"The crux of the issue is a community concern, not just a police concern," added Mendiola. 

That's why Mendiola said churches, non profits and others are trying to be proactive. 

"And we want our community to know that they can have open communication with the police. We are typically in areas of concern. We try to be proactive in doing pro-social contacts with individuals," said Mendiola.  

Open-dialogue between the police and community, they say, is key

"If people care about their community, if they care about their friends and their neighborhoods, then when they see something they should talk to the police," said Chambers. 

Mendiola said he is already seeing an improvement.     

"And we have garnered a lot of great information and have made some great contacts with the community we serve," added Mendiola. 

As for Sunday's double homicide, police said they have been speaking with witnesses. So far no arrests have been made.

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