The city of Peoria Community Development Department, in partnership with the Peoria Police Department and the Human Resources Department, is launching the Community First pilot program on Monday, July 6th. This program to encourages better future engagement and relationships with the community by providing law enforcement recruits with the opportunity to learn more about the issues facing our neighborhoods and the strengths and struggles of Peoria residents.

For ten weeks, police officer recruits will serve the City as Code Enforcement Aides in the Community Development Department where they will gain experience by working with residents, meeting neighborhood leaders, helping to beautify the City, and participating in neighborhood events. Over the course of the program, participants will meet social service providers, faith-based leaders, emergency service providers, and community members. This approach encourages police recruits to meet residents in their neighborhoods and build trust with the community while providing the recruits with knowledge of social service agencies and other local resources in the area that will be beneficial to their work with the Peoria Police Department.

Assistant Community Development Director Joe Dulin stated, “Our hope is that this program exposes the participants to what it means to be a public servant and introduces them to the various resources that our social service agencies and other community organizations offer to residents in need of assistance.”

The Community First pilot program aims to provide a community-focused introduction to Peoria for future law enforcement officials. The Community Development prides itself on working with residents to reduce blight, protect property values, and improve public safety.

For more information on the Community First pilot program, please contact Assistant Director of Community Development Joe Dulin at jdulin@peoriagov.org or (309) 494-8631.