Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Peoria Pastors Support Darin LaHood For Peoria County States Attorney

The Peoria Association Of Pastors For Community & Spiritual Renewal proudly announces it's endorsement of Darin LaHood (Darin & His Family Pictured Left) for the office of Peoria County States Attorney.
Mr. Lahood has delivered a plan to the association which we feel is in the best interest of the entire community at the grass roots level.
Not only has Mr. LaHood promised to diversify the current States Attorney's office by seeking qualified minorities to fill positions of significance, but he has also committed to create a community field liaison which will help sort through specific issues within the community potentially resolving problems in their infancy. This open communication between governmental officials and grass roots organizations such as ours excites us the most about Mr. LaHood's plan and vision for the future of the Peoria County State's Attorney's Office.
One might wonder why Pastor's are interested in who is in this office and how it is run. The States Attorney's Office is a very important office and one vital to community growth in our opinion. There are numerous reasons that Pastors and grass roots organizations should be involved in this effort. Some of them are outlined as follows:
  1. The highest per ca pita ratio of individuals prosecuted through the Peoria States Attorney's Office are poor and minority individuals. That same group does not receive it's fair share of representation when it comes to claims submitted for justice. In fact, we have received numerous complaints that current the States Attorney's Office, under Kevin Lyons, refuses to prosecute certain claims of individuals. Those complaints to our office are overwhelmingly from poor and minority individuals.
  2. The States Attorney's Office has been totally unresponsive to our requests for intervention into current problems involving alleged police brutality by the Peoria Police Dept. and other issues in which we have requested assistance from the office. On at least 3 occasions I (Pastor Harvey Burnett) either called or faxed the office requesting direct intervention or involvement in certain situations. To date we have received NO RESPONSE from any member of the current States Attorney's Office.
  3. For over a year, we have requested an open line of communication with City officials in order to address problems and brainstorm to resolve and possibly prevent certain issues of crime and unrest within the community. This approach in our estimation is essential to not only information proliferation, but to the safety, growth and health of the entire community. The current States Attorney, Kevin Lyons, by his own words and actions does not feel that this approach is essential or necessary.

In light of these issues and others we feel that it is best to pursue new leadership within the Peoria County States Attorney's Office and after numerous meetings with Darin Lahood in which he voluntarily laid out a plan, we are pleased and excited about the current opportunity to make the community a better one for all of it's citizens.

Pastor Harvey Burnett

Exec. Director Peoria Assn. Of Pastors