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Prosecutors: Unit needed to probe local corruption

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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) _ Prosecutors in two southern Illinois counties are calling on the State Police to restore a disbanded public integrity unit that helped investigate public corruption.

The unit was based in Colllinsville for almost a decade and helped investigate police shootings and public corruption in the St. Louis area. But the unit was disbanded in 2010.

The Belleville News Democrat reports that (http://bit.ly/1IlslXH ) states attorneys in Madison and St. Clair counties say the unit should be reactivated to speed up the time it takes their offices to probe allegations of local government corruption.

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons says the independent unit helped reassure the public that investigations were objective.

But State Police officials say they don’t have enough resources and instead are focusing on higher-priority cases involving murders and drugs.