Activists discuss solutions to Decatur's rising crime rate

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) — Ten homicides. Ten lives ended. Ten families torn apart.

The number of homicides in Decatur has more than tripled in 2017, up from three in 2016 and six in 2015.

“We have a dire situation and it has to change sooner rather than later,” said community activist Devon Joyner. “I have children. I’ve interacted with a lot of their friends and kids started getting shot in that age group.”

“To deal with crime or any type of community issue you have, it takes a village,” said Corey Walker, president of the Black Chamber of Commerce of Illinois.

But how does that village address the underlying issue of a rising crime rate? Walker said economics often play a key role.

“When you have people making premium wages working a full-time job that has all the things everybody wants out of America, then I don’t think [anybody] thinks about when they get off work ‘how am I going to commit a crime to pay my bills and feed my family?’”

And as the calendar flips to 2018, both Walker and Joyner are pushing for everyone in Decatur to adopt the same New Year’s resolution: work together to stop crime.

“Talk to your peers,” Joyner said. “We have to dig a little deeper.”

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