In June 2013, the City of Champaign saw an increase in the number of shootings and
other incidents involving firearms. This increase has generated great concern from the
City, community members and area law enforcement agencies.
From June 7 through June 28, 2013, the Champaign Police Department responded to
twelve (12) incidents with eight (8) shooting victims, as well as damage to property.
During this time, nine (9) suspects were arrested for their involvement in these incidents.
Information obtained during the course of the investigation revealed the following:
- Thirty-eight (38) individuals have been identified by police for their alleged involvement with gang members who are working together to commit shootings and other crimes.
- It is also believed that these crimes may be retaliatory and/or drug-related incidents.
In response to the shootings, the Champaign Police Department, community members and local organizations have taken the following actions:
- Increased police presence in areas with high calls for services related to shooting and shots fired incidents;
- The Department issued a Public Safety Announcement informing the public that officers will take enforcement action against anyone caught discharging a firearm or illegal fireworks during the July 4th holiday season;
- The Department met with key members of the community to provide an update on police enforcement activities and brainstorm ways to communicate anti-violence messages to the public;
Champaign Community Coalition members and local organizations joined, in collaborative education/awareness and targeted outreach efforts, to organize and execute the following summer initiatives to address gun violence and community safety:
- Created the Champaign County African-American Safety Net – a collaborative education/awareness organization;
- Developed a network of community social workers willing to assemble community support teams for families impacted by gun violence;
- Formed neighborhood canvassing teams to pass out information about gun violence and community safety;
- Produced a YouTube commercial – “Put it Down – Face the MUSIC”;
- Provided opportunities to engage youth and young adults in dialogue around gun violence and community safety;
- Crime Stoppers “Tip” cards were distributed throughout the community to educate residents about ways to anonymously report illegal activity;
- The Department is collaborating with the following agencies: Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, Danville Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Office of Champaign County State’s Attorney, University of Illinois Police Department, Urbana Police Department, and the U.S. Marshals Service to identify and locate offenders.
“We are troubled by the acts of violence occurring in our community, and are grateful that no lives were lost in the crossfire,” says Chief Anthony Cobb.
The Department will continue to collaborate with the community to reach those who are involved in or affected by gun violence. “We are addressing these crimes by partnering with community agencies that provide services to high risk offenders and by increasing our presence in neighborhoods where the shootings have occurred. It will take both the community and police partnering together to stop this violence. We can’t do it alone,” he added.
The Champaign Police Department will continue to investigate each case and urge witnesses and those involved to come forward with information. Information can be reported to the Champaign Police Department by calling (217) 351-4545, or callers can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 373-8477 (TIPS). Information can also be sent by anonymous web tip by going to: www.373tips.com or by texting keyword “CCTIP” plus the information to 274637 (CRIMES). Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1000 for information leading to an arrest.