RANTOUL, Ill. (WCIA) — The county saw several incidents of gun violence in the last week, and a program in this village is making an impact toward fighting it.
At the beginning of the year, the village of Rantoul introduced crime free housing. People living in rental properties have to sign an agreement saying they won’t commit crime, or they’ll be sent packing.
With three shootings in the past few days, we asked police if this initiative is working. They said so far, yes.
There have been at least a few cases in which lease addendums have been violated because of incidents with guns. In those cases, the residents moved out.
However, Rantoul police chief Tony Brown says there is still a lot of room for the program to grow. He think it will take several years before there is a true transformation.
“5 years down the road it’s going to look a lot different than it does now,” said Brown.
Now, there are issues with it that need to be worked out.
“I mean our whole system is based upon a presumption that people will speak up and tell everything they know,” said landlord Hank Gamel. “It doesn’t always work that way. But we (as landlords) can always do more.”
Crime free housing started in January. Brown says all landlords will have to have adopted it by January.
About half of people who live in Rantoul live in rental properties…so Brown says this affects a lot of people.
Brown also addressed the recent gun violence incidents. He told us the names that came up as suspects were familiar, and that oftentimes it’s the same people who commit gun-related crimes multiple times.