PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – On Wednesday evening, December 9, Peoria cops held their last ‘Walk and Talk’ of the year, marching the residential streets around Peoria’s first English Lutheran Church.
Officers dispersed on the roads in groups, knocking on doors and greeting members of the community. They each had a stack of leaflets containing community resources to distribute as well.
Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria said it was the last ‘Walk and Talk’, but they will resume in early spring 2022.
âWe want to build trust with our community,â said Chief Echevarria, âlegitimacy, and I think that’s what we’re doing. And we’re going to take action on that and continue to let our community know that we’re there for them, that enough is enough, and we’re going to be here, we’re going to be in the community, and we’re going to continue to strive to do Peoria the best it can be.
He said the latter march is particularly important as it was requested from community members after an armed robbery occurred near the church the previous week.
âOur neighborhood is sort of reaching a point where they’re so frustrated with pursuing a crime like this,â said Ryan Anderson, senior pastor of First English Lutheran Church, âand really yearn to peace, and are ready to regroup. and act to make it happen.
Chief Echevarria acknowledged that walking and talking alone is not the answer to reducing violence in the community, but said it was just one more tool in the service’s toolbox. police to connect with the community.