Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Battle Against Community Terrorism...A Question Of Accountability

8/20/2011 Citizen's Speak Out Rally 4:30 PM
Peoria Harrison Homes.
NOI Student Minister Roy Muhammad
Minister Roy Muhammad of the Nation Of Islam Peoria Study Group, has rightly raised the question as to the Police Department's role of accountability in the inflow of weapons into the Peoria area and community.
In short he has said, what has the Peoria Police Dept. done in tracking the proliferation of illegal weapons into the Peoria community? In other words are we to believe that the weapons being used by thugs are legally obtained weapons? Or, if these weapons are gained by illegal means, what is the method by which they are entering the community? How does the police not know this information or take responsibility for this knowledge or lack thereof? Behind all that...what is the department doing to STOP the proliferation of illegal weapons into the Peoria community and South Peoria in particular?

We know that dismantling or disrupting the supply chain is a tactic that can be used in any war and especially a war against terrorism. In fact in the Iraqi War, American troops became proficient at finding and eliminating weapons stashes of the enemy so that the enemy could not replenish themselves or rekindle their effort to resist. What has the Peoria Police Department done to dismantle or disrupt the supply chain of the enemy that we are facing within our community.  

The police are rightfully asking citizens to provide information in response to crime and violence. They are seeking and asking citizens to become involved in bringing criminals to justice, however, the CITIZENS need to know what efforts the department is undertaking to cut the pipeline of illegal weapons distribution. Although turning in individuals is the right thing to do, it only creates room for others to stand up and take their place. It is our belief that we must approach this problem in a fundamentally different manner than we have been approaching it up until this point if we are truly sold out to reducing or eliminating crime and violence within our community and the African American community in particular.   

To date, we have no information from the Peoria Police Department regarding this issue and to our knowledge it has not been addressed. The facts are that not only are guns being proliferated, but the ammunition for the guns seem to also be in adequate supply.

Interested community partners would like to know, how these weapons are entering the Peoria area community and what is the primary source of distribution into our streets? If there is no current investigation or operation looking into this, whether openly or undercover, we MUST ask why has not this issue been raised to this level of importance? Especially in light of the fact that most of the murders in any given year are primarily due to illegal weapons activity.

The Association of Pastors and related community partners will seek to get a definitive answer from the Peoria Police Dept. regarding this issue.

Pastor H. Burnett
Exec. Director  

Albert Billups -Wilson Vigil & Citizen's Speak Rally

The problem is that we somehow we believe that one particular effort will satisfy all needs as it pertains to Peoria's crime and violence and that after that has been done we can simply call it a day. There is nothing further from the truth.  In order to deal with public violence and potential gang activity, one must yield themselves to this fight in an ongoing fashion. One cannot start to address the issues and suddenly stop or become AWOL or develop an assumption that someone will waive the "magic wand" and all things will change.  

The rallies are only one source of inspiration for the community and the object of the effort is to galvanize the community, eliminate the fear that grips neighborhoods in the face of violent crime and provide encouragement to citizens to step up to address the issues of violent crime and the resultant fallout. The Rally is also designed to connect individuals to the network of individuals who are tired of our community being downtrodden and used by both community terrorists and ineffective leadership, whether that be political or social leadership. 

Those that don't feel any change will either be lasting or sustainable, should be challenged when we ask, "where is your presence, when called upon?" In other words, those simply looking to others to bring or provide a solution are often not delivering any solutions to the table of discussion. This is not necessarily a bad thing if one has no solutions.  However, if one has no solutions and disregards or overlooks the solutions and steps that exist, then how credible can a complaint be regarding the ineffectiveness of the efforts?

There are 2 more Citizens Speak Out Rallies scheduled for this weekend August 19th and 20th...

Friday August 19th 5:30 PM ~ Peoria Village Green Apartments
Saturday August 20th 4:30 PM ~ Harrison Homes

Those who think that things won't change, one thing is certain, without a commitment to change and being a part of the effort, one can only receive what is provided by others. This is part of the problem that we face. This community owes Albert Billups-Wilson somewhat more than reluctance to be a part of community restoration efforts, especially in light of what this family and others over the last few years have had to pay.

My question is, will you and your family make plans to attend and be a part of current efforts?

Pastor H. Burnett
Exec. Director 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Citizens Must Speak! An Invitation To All Peoria Citizens

~ Citizens Speak Rally~
"Take Our Community Back!"
When: Saturday Aug. 6th 5:30 PM
Location: The Corner Of Lincoln Ave. & Western Ave.
(near the scene of the recent shooting of the Peoria city bus)
Who Is Responsible For This & Future Events?
Pastor Harvey Burnett, the New Bethel COGIC, The Peoria Association Of Pastors, The Peoria Study Group Nation Of Islam, & other Peoria citizens and community groups.
This is the first in a series of community rallies against crime and violence promoting neighborhood awareness, and citizen involvement in making our community a safer and better place to live and reside.
The goal of the initial and subsequent rallies, is for Peoria citizens to speak openly and clearly regarding crime and violence within Peoria in general and more specifically within their neighborhoods of residence
These public forums will be designed to foster citizen citizen participation in forging, building, and creating relationships at a grass roots level in effort to build a sustained resistance against crime, violence and other social ills from which our community has suffered and continues to suffer.
Future Rallies:
Friday August 12th ~ Taft Homes Pavillion 5:30 PM
Saturday August 13th ~ Peoria East Bluff
(The location where 8 year old Albert Billups Wilson was killed~ 1031 E. Behrends Ave.) 4:30 PM
Friday August 19th ~ Village Green 5:30 PM
Saturday August 20th ~ Harrison Homes 4:30 PM  

For additional information please email Pastor Burnett and the Pastor's Assn. at or call (309)688-6599

Friday, June 17, 2011

Peoria's New Inner City Track & Field League

This is the second year for the Peoria Inner City Track and Field League. The League began in 2010 and was founded by Pastor Harvey Burnett. The League is currently solidifying a relationship with the Peoria Area Track & Field Club (PATFC) in order to present a more encompassing program for all participants. Participants in this league will have the opportunity to develop and enhance their skills both through one on one training and ongoing competition.

All children are welcome to participate ages 11-18 in various events. There is a $25.00 registration fee for all participants, a statement of rules and regulations that must be adhered to and a parental waiver must be signed before an athlete can participate in the program. Both the flier, the registration forms and the rules and regulations are available for download below.  

Please contact Pastor Harvey Burnett by email at of call at (309)688-6599 for more information.   

Track League Rules & Agenda

Track League Waiver & Registration Form

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

We're Not Through Yet!

As the summer season of 2011 is upon us the Peoria Association Of Pastors is seeking to increase community awareness in effort to stand against crime and violence to hopefully turn the tide of fear that has taken our community in recent times.

Peoria Crime At A Glance

According to a 2010 Peoria Journal Star report crime in the basic 8 categories in 2009 consisted of:

  • 16 homicides
  • 414 robberies 
  • 624 aggravated assaults 
  • 62 arsons, 
  • 1,645 burglaries
  • 97 criminal sexual assaults 
  • 3,437 thefts 
  • 374 motor vehicle thefts
In contrast, all crimes, except for murder and the number of shootings, were down in 2010. According to the Peoria Police Department compiled statistics, the number of crimes in the same categories were as follows:

  • 22 homicides
  • 307 robberies
  • 560 aggravated assaults
  • 61 arsons
  • 1,473 burglaries
  • 49 criminal sexual assaults
  • 3,477 thefts
  • 179 motor vehicle thefts

The arrest of both first time offenders (1,478 {down 24%})and repeat offenders (5,985 {down 8%}) decreased from 2009 levels. Although the numbers decreased, many citizens were not convinced that life in the city was any more safe because of the number of shootings. According to the city Crime View statistics,  in 2011 there has been already over 240 incidents involving unlawful possession, sale, or use of a firearm or other deadly weapons, and 5 murders or homicides. The greatest thing to fight is apathy and the reluctance to get involved in helping to reverse the murder rate.

Who Is Responsible?

One question that we wrestled with last year was "why are there so many shootings and murders?" There were any number of answers including gang retaliation, drug and territorial wars and just plain old loss of common sense. One of the best deterrents however are citizens that band themselves together and demand that their living conditions be as descent and safe as possible. That is what we are trying to promote this year. Citizen unity and vigilance against the negative influences in their neighborhoods and communities that if left unchecked will have a further negative impact on their families and children.

In 2011 we will continue to spread the word of Community Hero and ask citizens to continue to stand strong, speaking to their children, relatives and friends and do what we can do to help support these families and individuals in the best way possible while they take a stand.
What Can We Do?

The Establishment Of A Community Hero Fund:

Although I have talked and circulated the word among certain individuals, we have yet to push this idea forward. That is changing as of now. We are asking the public to contribute to the Community Hero Fund. This fund has two primary purposes:

First, the fund will be conducted similar to Peoria Crime Stoppers but at significantly lower levels and targeted specifically towards Heroes that deliver information that lead to the arrest and conviction of individuals who have committed murder.

Secondly, the fund will also address some of the most basic needs associated with the surviving family of homicide victims. Currently within Peoria, there are no city sponsored victim services such as services for clean up, emotional and psychological referral or for temporary housing for those who fear reprisal. Families of victims who suffer homicide are totally on their own as they try to rebuild their lives. We would like to address those issues and change that, by contributing to the acquisition of fundamental resources to families that have faced and endured the tragic loss of loved ones.

The fund will not be geared to provide comprehensive resource in these areas, but it will be geared to help relive and address some of the stress and strain normally associated with murder and untimely death. Having experienced this aspect of crime and violence within Peoria personally, I am in a position to know what some of the gaps are in  this area.

Support The Fund

Contributions toward this fund can be made by Paypal. If you use Paypal, please complete the contribution form and indicate COMMUNITY HERO FUND so that we may direct 100% of the contribution to that area. We will provide a charitable contribution receipt for all contributions made. You may also contribute by mailing a check to the following address:

Peoria Assn. Of Pastors
Attn: Community Hero Fund
P.O. Box 6167
Peoria, IL. 61601

Contributions of any amount are greatly appreciated and will be used for the purposes stated above.