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Peoria police joined by state, federal agencies in anti-violence sweep

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Peoria Police Department

Peoria police say more than 20 arrests were made Wednesday night during an anti-violence initiative collaboration among multiple law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Marshals Service and the Illinois State Police.

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Peoria Police Department
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Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria

“While last night was impactful, we are by no means done,” Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria said in a news release. “The PPD will continue to collaborate with our county, state and federal law enforcement partners, as well as continued conversations with the community we serve, in our goal to enhance public safety and the reduction of violent crime.”

Echevarria told WCBU he “absolutely” expects more multi-agency sweeps in the future, specifically targeting violent offenders in crime hot spots.

“I said, 'they wanted our attention, now they have it,' and I meant it,” he said. “I would use every available resource for law enforcement to combat violence in the city of Peoria. Our residents, our community deserves to feel safe and be safe, and we're going to do everything in our power to make that happen.”

According to the release, about 60 law enforcement officers participated in the detail, including PPD criminal investigators, patrol operations, and the special investigations division. ISP had troopers from numerous districts participating as well.

Several of the arrests were individuals wanted on county and federal warrants. Two stolen vehicles were recovered, two illegally possessed loaded firearms were seized, and investigators were provided with evidence regarding “several ongoing major investigations.”

Echevarria said a key to reducing the violent crime is to have effective two-way communication with the public.

“I continue to say, people know who committed a crime; it's no secret,” he said, touting the department’s new 4-1-1 tip hotline. “People in the community know who it is, so we have to offer opportunities for them to be able to communicate with us anonymously, and that we can communicate with them back anonymously.”

ISP Air Operations assisted with both stolen vehicle cases through tracking, resulting in the arrest of three juveniles in one case and one adult with an outstanding warrant in the second case. The juveniles were apprehended after a foot pursuit, and the adult surrendered following a brief standoff at a residence in the 1900 block of South Stanley.

“The goal is to have no crime,” said Echevarria. “I mean, that's a lofty goal but that's what we want, and that's what we'll continue to strive for: No crime in our city.”

WCBU’s local newsroom is expanding, and we’re doing more to tell the stories of Greater Peoria. When you support, we report. Contribute during the Spring Fund Drive.

Updated: January 6, 2022 at 5:28 PM CST
Updated with additional comments from Peoria Police Chief Eric Echavarria