(KMOV) -- As early as Tuesday, East St. Louis might be without half of its firefighters, and up to two dozen police officers.
The troubled East St. Louis Police Department could lose roughly 40 percent of the force, due to budget cuts the city council is expected to vote on Tuesday.
Mayor Alvin Parks blames the layoffs on a terrible economy, $2 million less in revenue from the Casino Queen gambling boat, and the refusal of police and fire departments to take major cuts either in pay or in pension contributions.
Police union President Dennis Butler said city officials refuse to reveal how they would cut jobs. "If we are going to give up concessions, at least be transparent," he said.
If the council approves the cuts, Mayor Parks says they could go into effect immediately.
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