East St. Louis at one time was the per capita murder capital of the United States. Several agencies, including the Illinois State Police, joined East St. Louis in enforcement details. The result? The killings dropped dramatically. That cooperation is slated to be a casualty of budget cuts. We've seen school districts announcing teacher layoffs, but who thought State Troopers would be next?
Some 464 troopers will be let go, and five regional headquarters, like the one in Litchfield, will be shut down. Response times will be longer. The Acting Director of the ISP says his department has to make 32 million dollars in cuts and everything, including civilian personnel, has already been cut to the bone and there's no choice but laying off troopers. I asked if he thought the state will come up with the money. Considering Illinois is billions (with a B) short of revenue this year, he didn't think so.