EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (KMOV) – East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks says a tough curfew enacted by the city last week has helped reduce crime.
While there was a homicide over the weekend, police say it was over a domestic dispute.
However, there were no murders on the streets like what happened two weekends ago, when four people were killed over a 36-hour span.
Both Parks and East St. Louis Police Chief Michael Floore said the curfew may have something to do with that.
“Apparently, it’s working because people are calling now, they’re calling and saying these kids shouldn’t be out here or whatever the case may be,” said Floore, who said he’s already seeing the curfew’s positive effects.
He said the calls came late Friday night near 15th and Missouri when four teens - three girls and a boy - were spotted breaking into a home and violating the curfew.
At this point city, officials are hoping this is the solution they’re looking for.
“It’s too early to tell just yet, it’s been in place not even a full five days, but one of the things we understand is when you have an intense and sustained effort, you will see results when you know you’re trying to do the right thing,” said Floore.
Looking for ways to stop the violence among young people in the city, Parks has since backed down on an idea to ban red and blue clothing associated with gangs. But he is going full steam on the curfew, both after 10 p.m. and during school hours.
“You’re putting the onus where it needs to be, sure it’s a community issue but more important than a community issue, it’s a family issue. What are you doing by your children, do you know where they are and do you know what they’re doing?” Parks asked.
Parks says he knows they’re walking a fine line with the curfew, but he says the city’s not out to violate anyone’s civil rights, and he expects more violators to be caught.