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News

Joliet mayor plans town meeting on violence

Bob O'Dekirk
Bob O'Dekirk

Mayor Bob O’Dekirk plans to hold a town hall meeting next week on violence in Joliet.

“I’ve been getting a lot of complaints about the level of violence,” O’Dekirk said at the City Council meeting Tuesday.

A date has not been set, but O’Dekirk said he expected it to be next week and that the city would issue a news release.

“I always find discussion with the public is best for any issue,” he said.

The announcement came as the council heard from two residents this week express concerns about shootings.

Kathy Spieler from the Reedwood neighborhood was joined by a neighbor and asked the council at its Monday meeting to fund expansion of the Neighborhood Oriented Police Team into their area.

Spieler said the numbers of children playing outside and adults spending time outdoors “has dropped drastically” in the neighborhood.

“My family who loves to walk won’t go anymore because of the shootings in our neighborhood,” she said.

Spieler said she was in her car on Midland Avenue near the corner of Jefferson Street a couple of weeks ago when she heard shots that came from people shooting at each other from vehicles near the intersection.

“My house has been shot at five times,” Mady Perez, a resident of the St. Pat’s neighborhood, told the council.

Perez spoke at the Tuesday meeting after O’Dekirk announced the town meeting.

“There’s a lot of people in fear because of these shootings,” she said.

Police Chief Al Roechner said the police department this week began a review of NOPT operations to determine whether officers can be moved from any neighborhood to Reedwood. He said he would “have to look at all the numbers” before deciding if NOPT officers should be pulled from one neighborhood and placed in another.

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