Earlier this month, the first Community First class of police recruits graduated from the Police Training Institute in Champaign, Illinois. These four police recruits served the city of Peoria as Code Enforcement Aides in the Community Development Department for over 4 months this year where they gained experience working with residents, meeting neighborhood leaders, helping to beautify the City, and participating in neighborhood events. The recruits also met social service providers, faith-based leaders, emergency service providers, and other community members.

The Community First Program was designed by the city of Peoria Community Development Department, in partnership with the Peoria Police Department and the Human Resources Department, to introduce law enforcement recruits to the issues facing our neighborhoods and the strengths and struggles of Peoria residents to encourage better future engagement and relationships with the community.

This program aims to connect law enforcement recruits with the people in the neighborhoods they are serving. Assistant Director Joe Dulin said, “We are incredibly proud of the 2020 Community First cohort. Our hope is that by becoming familiar with our neighborhoods and the many social service agencies and other community organizations that these officers will have a greater understanding of the people they serve and the resources available for residents in need of assistance.”

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.