A former East St. Louis police officer who stole a Rolex watch planted by federal agents as a test has been sentenced to 66 days in prison.
Larry Greenlee, of Belleville, pleaded guilty in May to stealing the watch, which agents planted as part of an integrity test. Greenlee came across the Rolex, encircled with diamonds, in what he thought was a stolen car, which agents had bugged with recording devices.
The sentence was announced Friday by the U.S. Attorney's Office in southern Illinois.
Now, no one in Illinois can stop firefighters or police officers from collecting charitable donations on roads - even if they wanted to.
Under a new Illinois law, public safety officials can't be denied permits to collect money for charities from drivers along roadsides. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law Friday and it takes effect immediately.
The governor's office says Illinois is the sixth state to adopt such a law. The others are Florida, Nebraska, Texas, California and North Carolina.
East St. Louis nightclubs and other local businesses are bankrolling extra weekend police patrols after a series of violent crimes.
Mayor Alvin Parks Jr. says the city needs more officers on the street but cannot afford them on its own.
“This is taking already existing officers and paying them to work this special detail," Parks said. "A detail that will be about six officers downtown and another two in the rest of the city where there might be late night activity.”
St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom's budget proposal calls for cutting 50 officers through attrition, not layoffs. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Isom presented the budget Wednesday to the Board of Police Commissioners.
The department is faced with a $3.8 million shortfall. The city allocated $168 million to the department - a 3 percent increase over last year. But pension costs came in $5 million higher than anticipated.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Parkway School Board has approved cutting spending by about $7.5 million to $9.6 million during the next two school years. The school board approved the cuts Wednesday night.
Reductions include eliminating 20 positions from administration and support staff, mostly through attrition.
The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that police must preserve video evidence in all cases, even misdemenors.
The court upheld sanctions today in a case where police erased video of a drunken driving arrest. The defendant told prosecutors she intended to fight the charges and wanted the video, but police still followed their policy of destroying videos after 30 days.
A 28-year-old man is in critical condition after an exchange of gunfire with a suburban St. Louis police officer.
Meanwhile, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday that the suspect, Carlos Johnson of Ferguson, is charged with first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer. Johnson did not yet have an attorney.