East St. Louis Government Cuts What?

Rev. Joseph Tracy said he’s tired of going to funerals. And now, he suspects he’ll be going to more of them.

“It’s open field day now,” said Tracy, the pastor of Straightway Baptist Church here. “The criminals are going to run wild.”

The pastor voiced his fear of a spike in crime on Friday at a raucous special City Council meeting at which East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks announced that the city will lay off 37 employees, including about one-third of its police officers.

In total, 19 of the city’s 62 police officers, 11 firefighters, four public works employees and three administrators will lose their job in the layoffs that take effect Sunday.

At this point, they might as well just build a wall around East St. Louis and be done with it. This is appalling.

There are lots of good people in East St. Louis who have tried very hard to improve the conditions there. It’s a shame they don’t have a government that supports those efforts adequately.

(via St. Louis Post-Dispatch.)