The Community First program offers police officer recruits the opportunity to serve the City of Peoria as Code Enforcement Aides where they will work with residents, familiarize themselves with our neighborhoods, and meet the community. 

For ten weeks, the Community First crew will learn about the social service agencies and nonprofit partners who work in the region providing resources to our residents. 


Cody Ervin

Cody Ervin

Cody was originally born and raised in the Champaign-Urbana area and grew up in the small town of St. Joseph, IL.  His family relocated to Peoria in 2016, and he attended Illinois Central College where he studied Criminal Justice. In 2018, he started working as a Security Officer for Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino where he learned firsthand the importance of developing basic relationships with the community .

He is passionate about building basic fundamental relationships with the citizens that he will serve. From his experience working as a Security Officer as well as his education, he believes it is very difficult to be successful at his future position if the community does not have trust or faith in the police.

Jia Zheng

Jia Zheng

He is a recent graduate from Western Illinois University and graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration.  He moved to the U.S. when he was 8 years old and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Terry Lair

Terry Lair

Terry was born and raised in Pekin, Illinois. He graduated from ICC with an Associate’s Degree in Science. He is also in the Army National Guard. He is passionate about becoming a better person and optimizing his efficiency in all aspects of life. He mentioned this mainly began with fitness and working out but has grown into setting goals and working hard to reach them.


Peoria Opportunities Foundation

Jane Genzel from Peoria Opportunities Foundation gave a presentation on developing affordable housing in the East Bluff neighborhood.

Weekly Community Cleanup

The Community First crew helped out with the July 10th Weekly Community Cleanup at the Gift-Loucks-Sheridan triangle.

Phoenix Community Development Services

Sara Runyon from Phoenix CDS shared their approach to providing support for individuals experiencing homelessness.

Great Neighbor Appreciation Week

Community First Aides recognized residents going above and beyond in maintaining their yards with Good Job Door Hangers for Great Neighbor Appreciation Week.

Great Neighbor Appreciation Week

Business License Inspector Jamie Shilevinatz shared his scope of work where he ensures body work, secondhand stores, and peddlars are properly licensed to operate in the City of Peoria.

Becca Mathis from the Hult Center for Healthy Living shared her work as an Adolescent Health Coordinator in the community.

Neighborhood Tour of North Valley in Peoria, Illinois

North Valley resident and neighborhood leader Molly Beth Rice shared the history of the North Valley and her perspective on community-police relations in her neighborhood.

Ron Tyler of Family Core

Ron Tyler from FamilyCore spoke to the Community First Aides on the mission and longevity of FamilyCore as an organization and offered some tips to empathize, manage, and understand anger.


Peoria Opportunities Foundation presentation: Click HERE