East St. Louis, IL – East St. Louis Police Chief Delbert Marion says he opposes a cost-cutting plan to combine his department with several nearby squads.
East St. Louis City Councilman Charles Powell suggested the move in an effort to trim more than one million dollars from the city's budget.
Powell also suggested the city turn over its emergency dispatch services to Saint Clair County.
But Marion says closing the city's police department and jail is a bad idea. He says it would lead to higher crime rates and fewer officers on the streets.
Departments in Alorton, Brooklyn, Centreville and Washington Park are mentioned in the combination proposal. Powell says the city's budget crunch leaves its leaders with few options.