Gun Crime Destroys Communities

Don't Shoot Peoria

In Peoria, guns have killed nearly 50 people over the past five years. That includes the 10 people who were fatally shot in 2012. What that number doesn’t reflect is the 77 other people who survived gun violence in 2012. So far in 2013, there's been 13 gun-related homicides and 65 more people shot.

It’s time to put the guns down.

“Don’t Shoot” is an aggressive multi-strategy anti-gang and anti-gun violence program designed to save lives and reduce the number of people impacted by gun crimes. It is modeled after a concept found in the book, “Don’t Shoot. One Man, A Street Fellowship, and The End of Violence in Inner-City America,” by David M. Kennedy.

Led by Mayor Jim Ardis, the initiative creates partnerships among federal, state and local prosecutors; law enforcement; outreach specialists; community leaders; and media. Never before has Peoria seen such comprehensive collaboration from key stakeholders in implementing a zero-tolerance message towards gun violence.

The “Don’t Shoot” program has been deployed in over 70 cities across the United States. If Peoria can replicate the success this anti-gun violence program has had in other cities—like High Point, N.C., where violent crime plummeted 53 percent—we should see a difference quickly and significantly.

Listen Up

Go to WCBU-FM 89.9 and listen to podcasts of local and national guests discussing the main points of the "Don't Shoot" book.

Important Dates

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Murder by Gunfire



Shooting Incidents



Shooting Victims (including Murder)



Citizen Calls "Shots Fired"



ShotSpotter Alerts Phase 1(B)



Statistics reflect incidents occurring Jan. 1, 2016, through May. 31, 2016. Percentages show change during same time frame of previous year. Data provided by the Peoria Police Department.

Be Informed

The Peoria Reads! book selection for 2012 is "Don't Shoot. One Man, A Street Fellowship, and The End of Violence in Inner-City America," by David M. Kennedy.

This book was chosen by Peoria Reads! because of the importance it will play in Peoria’s initiative to put a stop to gang and gun violence. See for yourself how the “Don’t Shoot” program and strategies, which are detailed throughout the book, can work in communities like ours.

Visit the library's book detail page to learn more about the book and find out how to get your FREE copy (limited quantities available). Or borrow the book from Peoria Public Library. For more information call Alyce Jackson, Peoria Public Library: 309.497.2143, or Connie Voss, Common Place: 309.674.3315.

Don't Shoot Peoria Book

[+] A Look Inside Don't Shoot

Gang- and drug-related inner-city violence, with its attendant epidemic of incarceration, is the defining crime problem in our country. In some neighborhoods in America, one out of every 200 young black men is shot to death each year, and few initiatives of government and law enforcement have made much difference. But when David M. Kennedy, a self-taught and then-unknown criminologist, engineered the “Boston Miracle” during the crack epidemic of the 1990s, it cut youth homicide in the city by two-thirds and pointed the way toward what few had imagined: a real solution.

“Don’t Shoot” tells the story of Kennedy’s progress. Riding with beat cops, hanging with gang members and stoop-sitting with grandmothers, Kennedy found that all parties misunderstood each other, caught in a spiral of racialized anger and distrust. He envisioned an approach in which everyone—gang members, drug dealers, cops and community members—joins together in what is essentially a giant intervention. Offenders are told that the violence must stop, that even the cops want them to stay alive and out of prison, and that even their families support swift law enforcement if the violence continues.

The program Kennedy developed based on this approach has now been implemented in over 70 cities, including Baltimore, Pittsburg, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Chicago and Washington, D.C., and in city after city, the same miracle has followed: Violence plummets, drug markets dry up, and the relationship between the police and the community is reset.

This is a story of one man’s journey, riveting and fueled by moral urgency. It is also a landmark book, detailing what could be a lasting solution to one of America’s most intractable social problems.


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