“Police and a neighbor with an AK-47 rifle responded to gunshots in the 1200 block of Brotherson Street around midnight Saturday,” Peoria Illinois’ pjstar.com reports. Yup, you heard right: both police and a concerned citizen armed with a rifle responded to gunfire. “Witnesses told police, who were responding to a Shotspotter alert, they saw a man with an AK-47 nearby after they heard gunfire.” Uh-oh . . .
The man, who lives nearby in the 1300 block of West Kettelle Street, told police he took his rifle outside after he heard gunfire. He has a valid FOID card, according to the police report, which added the rifle did not appear to have been fired.
Good on the Peoria PD for not blowing rifle guy’s brains out. Wanna know why a Peorian would be taking to the streets with an AK-47? Check this from neighborhoodscout.com:
With a crime rate of 45 per one thousand residents, Peoria has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes – from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One’s chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 22. Within Illinois, more than 96% of the communities have a lower crime rate than Peoria . . .
Violent offenses tracked included rape, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon. According to NeighborhoodScout’s analysis of FBI reported crime data, your chance of becoming a victim of one of these crimes in Peoria is one in 149.
Based on the number of murders reported by the FBI and the number of residents living in the city, NeighborhoodScout’s analysis shows that Peoria experiences one of the higher murder rates in the nation when compared with cities and towns for all sizes of population, from the largest to the smallest.
Property crimes that are tracked for this analysis are burglary, larceny over fifty dollars, motor vehicle theft, and arson. In Peoria, your chance of becoming a victim of a property crime is one in 26, which is a rate of 39 per one thousand population.
In fact, this story highlights the ineffectiveness of the ShotSpotter system at preventing crime or catching criminals. In 2013, the town mothers and fathers forked out $400,000 for a three-year contract. Then re-upped for $495,000 for the next three years. And the PPD keep showing up after the fact, late to the game. How great is that?
ShotSpotter or not, after 110 years, Caterpillar’s moving its world HQ from Peoria to Deerfield, taking some 15,000 jobs with them. Reducing the economic opportunities for Peorian youths — many of which see organized crime as their best lifestyle alternative.
Yes, of course Peoria’s crime is gang-related. Twenty-some of them plague the metropolitan area, apparently, with twenty police officers assigned to anti-gang units. I wonder if the $900,000 lining ShotSpotter’s pockets would have been better spent upping the anti-gang unit’s budget. Or something . . .