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Peoria Police chief: Threats against schools are not credible

Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria stands in front of the department's emblem as he delivers a message regarding a spate of gun violence in the city.
Peoria Police Department
Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria delivers a video message regarding a spate of gun violence in the city, saying social media threats against schools are not credible.

Following a string of shootings this week, Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria says evidence has been seized related to the crimes, and social media rumors of threats against schools are unfounded.

Echevarria posted a video message on the police department’s Facebook page Friday afternoon. In it, he said investigators have looked into to numerous threats in social media posts.

“I want to reassure you that we have investigated these threats and at this point none of the threats that we have seen are credible. Our schools are some of the safest places for our kids to be at,” he said.

Echevarria said the Peoria police SWAT team partnered with the ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s office in executing “several search warrants throughout the city” on Thursday night.

“Those search warrants resulted in several guns, ammunition, and other evidence being seized,” he said. “Please know it does not stop here. We will continue to investigate these crimes and we will continue to make the appropriate arrests when possible.”

Heading into the Labor Day weekend, Echevarria reiterated his earlier pleas for help from the community in stopping the cycle of gun violence.

“We will continue to work hard and diligently to curtail the violence that we are seeing,” he said. "With this impending holiday weekend in front of us, you are going to see more officers on the street, including our state and federal partners.

“Please, community, we need your help. Parents, don’t be part of the problem. Parents, know where your kids are at. Parents, please talk to your children and if you see something, please say something.”

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Contact Joe at jdeacon@ilstu.edu.