Cuts could be coming to police and fire departments in East St. - KMOV.com

Cuts could be coming to police and fire departments in East St. Louis

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

Major cuts could be coming to the East St. Louis Police and Fire Department.

“We don’t have a timeline but were told it’s imminent,” said firefighter and union president Brandon Walls.

The news came Monday from the newly appointed public safety director Todd Fulton, who said 16 firefighters and 16 police officers could soon be laid off.

“Its nerve wrecking for all of us and again that’s a big chuck on the department,” said Walls.

 In 2013, the fire department faced major layoffs but the union told the city they would take less money they were owed in back pay in an effort to save the jobs.

 “We did bend over backwards to make this happen and so it is a surprise that it’s being thrown back in our lap,” Walls said.

 Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks, who was elected this past spring, says cuts should have been made years ago.

“This city has operated outside its means for a very long time, we have to get in line that are comparable to ours that have the population  that is comparable to ours, like Collinsville , we have to make a decision that should have been done years ago,” said Jackson-Hicks.

 Jackson-Hicks says nothing is set in stone and that discussions still need to take place.

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