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ESL Mayor wants sheriff's help with patrols

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The mayor of East St. Louis says he plans to ask the St. Clair County Sheriff for help patrolling the streets.

Alvin Parks says the key to preventing murders is to reduce drug trafficking, and the only way to do that is with patrols. Also, there have been four murders in the past week, which Parks calls unacceptable.

"Right now, our staff has about 60 sworn police officers, which for East St. Louis at this time simply is not enough," said Parks. "We must bring in additional resources."

Parks says he hopes to find a way to get the county's help without having to pay for it, because the city probably can't afford it.

But there's no indication the county can afford it, either. A spokesman for the St. Clair County Sheriff's office says the might not be able to help because of the department's own staffing needs.

Parks has not yet contacted Sheriff Meryl Justus to discuss the matter.

Illinois State Police are already helping patrol streets and investigate murders in East St. Louis.

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