EAST ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill Thursday that is designed to crack down on police departments in four troubled Metro East cities.
The signed bill in effect creates the Metro East Police Commission, which will oversee police in East St Louis, Brooklyn, Washington Park and Alorton.
“Short of taking it over and sending in the National Guard you have to come up with something, try something,” Quinn said after signing the bill in East St. Louis.
The commission, whose members will be appointed by Quinn and local mayors, will try to create new standards and improve police work in several areas, including evidence collection, ethics training and weapons use.
The Reverend Mitchell Ford says he hopes change will be change for the better.
“Years ago my nephew was 15 years old, was murdered two blocks up the street, and the response time when the cops showed up was not enough to give him a fighting chance,” Ford said.
St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly agreed.
“You have to create a culture where that’s not tolerated, you have officers in these difficult situations, and if they don’t have the proper training it’s easy for the culture to devolve into corruption,” said Kelly.
The new bill also allows TIF funds to be used as a revenue source for hiring more police officers.