St. Clair County officials blame delayed emergency responses on - KMOV.com

St. Clair County officials blame delayed emergency responses on staff shortages

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

(KMOV) – An abnormally long emergency response time to a call in which a man was stabbed has raised eyebrows in St. Clair County.

It reportedly took St. Clair County Deputies 20 minutes to respond to the call that came out in a neighborhood east of Belleville on Saturday night.

The sheriff’s department says the response time was so long because 12 officers were laid off in 2010, it only has three patrol deputies on duty, and also because they were busy with other calls.

Sheriff Mearl Justus says he’s trying to solve his short staffing problem, and has been in negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police about the laid off officers.

The sheriff says talks stalled when the FOP’s chief negotiator was hurt in an accident, but he hopes they’ll eventually work out a deal.

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