East St. Louis is the most violent city in America. According to United States Attorney Stephen Wigginton, East St. Louis, and the corrupt villages surrounding it, have a murder rate that's 20 times higher than the national average.
It's a disgrace that should no longer be tolerated.
There are good, hard-working and caring officers in these communities. But there are too many dirty cops. It's been that way for a very long time, and because of cowardly local politicians, it will remain that way until the metro-east changes the way it polices the most dangerous city in the country.
Wigginton and State's Attorney Brendan Kelly are pushing the idea of a new law enforcement agency taking the lead role in policing. Would it be Illinois State Police in the lead role with precincts in the most dangerous areas of the metro-east? How about a permanent Major Case Squad handling all murder cases? The prosecutors seem open to many ideas, which is good.
I have many friends who live and work in East St. Louis. They deserve better than the pathetic law enforcement effort on display too often in Alorton, Washington Park and other communities surrounding East St. Louis.
Last year, following years of horrible test scores and inept leadership, the state of Illinois took over the East St. Louis school district. I don't believe city politicians or residents would support a total takeover of the police department in East St. Louis and underfunded villages next to it. But we all know something needs to be done. It must be done thoughtfully. It must be financialy sound, and it should happen soon.
Lives depend on it.