After layoffs take effect, police and fire unions to meet with city - KMOV.com

After layoffs take effect, police and fire unions to meet with city

(KMOV) -- On Sunday, the layoffs of 37 East St. Louis city employees took effect. The cuts included 19 police officers and 11 positions in the fire department.

The move left East St. Louis with just over 40 officers to police a city of around 30,000 residents. Chief Lenzie Stewart said he planned to move officers with desk jobs back onto the streets to patrol. He also said a police force of 80 officers would be ideal for East St. Louis. With layoffs in effect, police are down to 43 officers.

Monday,  the city said it will meet again with police and fire union officials this week to renegotiate the terms of a furlough package. Earlier this year, workers were asked to take two unpaid days off per pay period. Each pay period is two weeks.

Mayor Alvin Parks said on Monday he is hopeful new negotiations will help bring at least some of the laid off police and firefighters back to work.

Tuesday, police union officials meet with the city at 5 p.m. Fire union officials have their turn on Wednesday at 10 a.m. Those negotiations are closed to the public.

Thursday morning at 10, Mayor Parks said he plans to meet with community leaders and church pastors to discuss ways to combat and prevent crime. That meeting is open to the public.

In addition to the police and fire layoffs, East St. Louis also cut four public works positions and three city administration positions.

Diana Zoga is a general assignment reporter at News4.  Contact her at dzoga@kmov.com or follow Diana on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DIANAZOGA

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