It's been a violent summer in Peoria and quite a few of the homicides have involved people in their twenties or younger. We are about halfway through the year and Peoria has already had more homicides than last year's total.
According to reports from the Peoria Police Department, there has been an increase in murders by gunfire in Peoria. In 2014 there were two deaths by gunfire, four in 2015, 2016 saw two gun related murders, then five last year.
For 2018 there have been eight deaths thru the end of June.
"It's important to know that our officers are out there responding to these situations," said Mayor Ardis.
Reports show the number of victims involved in these incidents is also up compared to this time last year.
"We're still seeing a heavy concentration of our law enforcement folks in the areas that are seeing some of the higher incidents of violence," added Ardis.
While officers may be responding to these situations the best they can, as we have reported there have been cut backs with the city budget and the police department hasn't been able to fill open positions.
Ardis said the budget has not been hindering their ability to tackle some of this violence.
City leaders have certainly been hearing from the community and say they need help.
"I mean the eyes and ears of people in the neighborhoods, when they're seeing something unusual, to get information to our police department, to help them maybe proactively be able to stop some of these situations. It's very important," said Ardis.
Peoria police tell us detectives will continue to work diligently on following up on leads in all open cases.