Davenport Mayor Mike Matson announced Tuesday the formation of a Violent Crime Community Task Force.
Matson said it was in response to rising levels of violent crime in the city. Davenport reached an all-time high of gunfire incidents and non-fatal shootings in 2020.
“I often hear from residents who are concerned about the increasing crime in our community, and they are frustrated,” Matson said. “But for far too long, our community has placed the sole burden of preventing crime on our police department. While law enforcement is certainly a piece of dealing with rising levels of crime, they are not, and cannot be, the only people we look to for answers when dealing with crime in our community.”
Davenport Police Chief Paul Sikorski added that the acts of violence are not random and many of them are “hybrid street gangs” that are continually retaliating against one another.
“Three African American teenagers have been murdered in the past nine months as a result of this retaliatory violence, and this should be completely unacceptable to our community,” said Sikorski, adding that at one recent shooting Davenport Police found 98 rounds fired by nine people all shooting at each other at once.
The task force will be made up of a variety of community organizations, including NAACP, LULAC, Davenport Community Schools, Vera French Mental Health Services, Genesis Health Systems, St. Ambrose University and the Quad Cities Chamber, as well as community members.