Rock Island Police have been busier than normal this week, responding to two shootings in three days.

The first shooting happened Monday night on 3rd Avenue near 21st Street, with one man shot and two brought into custody. The more recent shooting happened Wednesday night on 6th Street near 16th Avenue, where another man was shot and later arrested for unrelated charges.

The rise in gun violence in a short period of time has caught the attention of Rock Island city leaders, including Mayor Mike Thoms, who says the shootings frustrate him.

“Every time that I hear about it, it bothers me,” Thoms said.

Thoms says the rise in shootings hasn’t been an issue only this month, but rather the last few years.

“In the recent years, it has been an increase across the country and across the Quad Cities,” Thoms said.

Because of that, Thoms is working on ways to solve the problem, along with other leaders across the Quad Cities. One of those solutions is putting together a task force to address the issue, which Thoms says he will discuss with the Rock Island City Council on Monday, April 11.

“We are going to put a task force together to work on a plan to try to help curb these things the best we can,” Thoms said.

Other ideas Thoms has for curbing crime include hiring more police officers, as many departments are dealing with staffing shortages.

“Like any other industries we’re seeing right now, there’s a shortage of help,” Thoms said. “We’re not getting the applicants that we used to get.”

On top of that, Thoms wants to put up more cameras across the city to help catch criminals, which he says has been a successful strategy so far.

“Cameras. Can we put cameras up, more cameras? We’ve had very good success with the cameras we have,” Thoms said.

In addition to those ideas, Thoms says he also wants to push judges and attorneys to prosecute repeated offenders harder and keep them behind bars.

“The district attorneys and the state’s attorneys and the judges, it falls onto them also,” Thoms said. “Letting these people back out on the street, these repeat offenders, has been a problem.”

Thoms also wants Rock Island residents to know the increase in shootings should be a cause for concern, but not a cause for fear, as most are likely gang-related and targeted shootings rather than random ones.

“Concerned? Yes. Scared, afraid? No,” Thoms said.

As far as the two shootings this week are concerned, Tim McCloud, deputy chief at the Rock Island Police Department, says their investigations so far indicate the two incidents are not related, and there does not appear to be any connection between the people involved in each shooting.

Both investigations are ongoing.