The Zion Police Department, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office are teaming up to address unprecedented violent crime, specifically shootings, in Zion.
“The City of Zion has experienced an unprecedented number of recent shootings, including two that resulted in fatalities,” Lake County Sheriff Detective Rebecca Loeb said.
Loeb said that many of these crimes involve specific people being targeted.
“These shootings often occur in public and expose innocent citizens to life-threatening danger,” Loeb said.
The Zion Police Department, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office are scheduled to start focused operations in areas where there has been repeated crime.
“Through these efforts we hope to arrest dangerous, violent individuals, seize illegal guns and other weapons, and reduce/eliminate the number of shootings that have occurred,” Loeb said.
Zion Police Chief Stephen Dumyahn said that he is extremely grateful that Sheriff Mark Curran and State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim have recognized the need for reducing gun crimes and improving safety in the community.
Most recently, Raymond Smith Jr., 29, of Zion, was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Michael D. Williams, 33, of North Chicago, on August 29 in Zion.
Then, Frank G. Farella, 54, of Zion, was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the September 5 shooting death of Shane Colella, 37, of Zion.
Lake County State’s Attorney Michael G. Nerheim said that many of these crimes are tied to illegal drugs.
“My message is clear; anybody struggling with addiction that seeks treatment, will be provided access to services. Those that chose to engage in violence will be aggressively prosecuted,” Nerheim said.
Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran said that he is proud to offer support to the Zion Police Department, calling it an “important and necessary effort.”