IL Criminal Justice Info Authority Says More Work Needed to Combat Violence in Central IL

By Benjamin Cox on August 23, 2019 at 12:19pm

The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority recently has released a study on violent crime in Central Illinois and what local law enforcement faces in the wake of violent offenders. The ICJIA said that it’s difficult to apply broader base strategies on reducing violent crime in the state because the massive numbers that occur withing the Chicagoland area. The study hoped to shed light on basic fundamental reduction efforts in the face of local contexts like rural communities. In October of last year, the ICJIA conducted an online survey of 68 law enforcement departments across Central Illinois to capture the characteristics of violent crime in the region. Morgan and Greene Counties authorities participated in the survey in the West Central region.

The top public safety threats across the region were measured to be illicit drugs, domestic violence, and burglaries and/or theft. Domestic violence was listed as the most often committed violent crime, listed as the most violent crime occuring nearly 76% of the time on the surveys, followed by sexual assault/rape at 21%, followed by firearm offenses at 19%. Homicide, physical assault, child abuse, and robbery will all below 10% occurrence. Fully specialized response units for these type of crimes were found to be used on these type of calls less than 10% of the time. Just over half of respondents reported a focused/targeted approach was utilized when implementing a strategy to reduce violent crime. Most communicated with the public about their crime fighting efforts in person or through social media. Out of 63 respondents, 59 percent reported having no official, public, or written partnership with any outside organization to reduce violent crime. Of those who said they did (26 in total), the most common partner was another law enforcement agency (88 percent), followed by a non-profit organization (35 percent), non-law enforcement government agency (31 percent), college or university researcher (15 percent), community group (15 percent), school (8 percent), or other partner (4 percent).

The ICJIA determined that ongoing efforts to reduce violent crime in Central Illinois is necessary suggesting law enforcement knowledge about and openness regarding a problem-oriented policing approach, community perceptions about violent crime, operational difficulties departments face, critical missing training, and characteristics of specific types of gun and gang crime are needed specifically.