Mushinsky also said the police department currently has 206 officers - a shortage of 23 from a full compliment of 229. Ten are slated to be added when the next class graduates from the state police academy in January.
Neighbors raised concerns about safety for young kids headed back to school, lack of curfew enforcement, and what some see as worsening conditions in the neighborhood from long-time residents.
Peoria Third District Councilman Tim Riggenbach says the community is going to have to think outside the box like it never has before to tackle the growing problem of teenage gun violence on the East Bluff.
Riggenbach represents the neighborhood on the Peoria City Council. He says the way disputes are settled has changed a great deal since he was young, and not for the better.
"When I was a kid, and there was a fight on the playground or down the street, you know, you'd get punched in the nose or something," he said. "And it's just, I don't understand how it's resorted to the point these minors are walking around with guns."
Riggenbach lauded some of the community outreach efforts to children by organizations like the Lawn and Order Academy and It Takes a Village; and organizers like Terry Burnside and Jesse McGowan.
But he said it will ultimately take the community at large, not just the police, to join forces and work towards change.
That may be as simple as smiling and waving at a child instead of turning your back, to show them that someone cares, he said.
Peoria City Council At-Large members Sid Ruckriegel and Beth Jensen also attended the meeting.