For the first time in years, the crime rate in East St. Louis has gone down.
It may be a short sample, but so far this year East St. Louis has not seen a murder. In 2009, the city saw 27 murders, and in 2008, 19 homicides were reported.
Over the past couple of months Mayor Alvin Parks has held community anti-crime forums, which led to street sweeps for guns and increased patrols in areas known to sell drugs.
East St. Louis has also relied on aid from the U.S. Marshals and Illinois State Police to make the community safer.
"We have a police department that is receptive to the outside help to make sure the people are safe," Parks said. "In the end, the mister and misses don't care where the help comes from, they just want to be safe."
The lack of a homicide in 2010 is a good sign for the city, but Parks said domestic violence is on the rise in the area. He says the city will work with local churches to address that issue.
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