The City of Davenport is forming a new violent-crime community task force in response to a surge of shootings, Mayor Mike Matson announced in a press conference Tuesday.
Officers responded to 279 reports of gunfire in 2020, an all-time high, said Police Chief Paul Sikorski.
"While law enforcement is a piece of this — dealing with the rising levels of crime — they're not, and should not be, the only people to look for answers," the mayor said.
The task force will focus on finding out what the city doesn't know about violent crime and why it happens, the mayor said.
The task force will include city aldermen, representatives from LULAC and NAACP, Davenport community schools, Genesis, St. Ambrose, the Quad City Chamber of Commerce, and others.
"We all have a responsibility in preventing gun crime from occurring in the first place," Matson said. "Without residents and community members and organizations taking a role in this, the gunfire's probably going to continue."
The first meeting, scheduled to happen in the next week or two, will not include teenagers, though Matson said the city has already begun to select youth that will participate in subsequent meetings.
He also invited community members who aren't part of the task force to come to scheduled listening sessions during the coming months to voice any concerns they have. The first session will be 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Eastern Avenue public library.