East St. Louis cuts police force amid 2016 budget troubles

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) _ Budget troubles have forced East St. Louis to lay off eight police officers, reducing the southern Illinois city’s force by about 15 percent.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that city manager Alvin Parks confirmed the layoffs before a public hearing Thursday evening about the budget. The city now has 45 police officers. The layoffs were effective Wednesday. The city also recently reduced the number of firefighters that it keeps on duty.

Parks has proposed an $18.2 million budget for 2016. That’s down $250,000 from a current budget that’s been cut by $1 million in recent months. The city expects to receive $6.2 million in revenue from the Casino Queen in 2016, down from $14 million a decade ago.

The city council is to consider the budget Nov. 12.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com