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'We need to step up to the plate' | Rock Island residents voice concerns about recent gun violence spike

Police say the City of Rock Island has seen a rise in gun violence this summer, with a total of six homicides so far.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Community members spoke out about the ongoing issue of gun violence Thursday night, July 28 at Rock Island's monthly town hall meeting. 

Police said the city has seen a spike in gun violence in summer 2022 alone and have asked for the public's help in solving crimes.

First Ward Alderman Moses Robinson hosted the monthly meeting at the Martin Luther King Center.

"It's things that we're not doing as a community that we need to step up to the plate and do," resident Ashley Harris said at the meeting.

Now, residents are coming together to curb the trend of violence.

"I just try to keep me and my family as safe as possible," resident Robin Gay said at the meeting.

Rock Island has reported six deadly shootings so far this year. According to officials, the homicides have all happened in the span of the summer.

"It is unfortunate," Harris said. "It happens everywhere and every year. It's been out of control. We're looking for police to do a lot of things that are outside the realm of their job."

Police said the overall number of shots-fired calls has also gone up.

RELATED: Rock Island PD: Repeat offenders, connected crimes contribute to rising gun violence

"These things we need your help on," Rock Island Police Department Chief Richard Landi said. "It affects the entire city. There's why we need to stop this, why it's some important for all of us. We can't just say it's somebody else's problem."

Landi said there have been about 63 shots-fired calls so far this year. January through July of 2021, the department reported 46 calls, and it saw just 25 for the same time frame in 2020.

"One shot, one death is always too many," Robinson said. "I think that's where the disconnect is. They don't value life."

"I worry all the time that one of these stray shots is going to go and hit somebody, some innocent person," Landi said.

City leaders and taxpayers brought up a range of solutions to curbing crime.

Harris said the community needs to come together to "take back the block."

"Stay in the house and have the ring doorbell cameras," Gay said.

Additional officers are being added in hot-spot areas, and more investigators are working around the clock.

Landi said police have made arrests in three of the six homicide cases.

To contact Rock Island City Council members, click/tap here for a full list of contact information.

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