EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – The Cross-River Crime Task Force is hoping to launch its first patrols later this month. The task force was created to prevent crime from flowing across the river into Madison County.
Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine announced the task force had unanimously adopted its charter Thursday.
Haine and the sheriff will now work together to select a commander for the task force.
The task force’s mission is to use joint county-wide operations to reduce the crime flow into and through the county. It is comprised of law enforcement officials from federal, state, county, and local agencies.
It will heavily rely on the use of license plate readers. Haine said the task force is designed to balance legitimate law enforcement needs against the needs of protecting individual privacy.
The members will participate on a volunteer basis and Haine envisions monthly patrols. The commander wil decide the time and location for the patrols.
“It’s a tragedy that St. Louis, that is a wonderful, wonderful city, is undergoing a historic crime wave. And Madison County is doing whatever it can to make sure criminals do not cause problems in Madison County,” said Haine.
Haine said since he took office there have been several crimes involving residents who crossed the river from St. Louis.
He explained in December, two Missouri residents committed an armed robbery at a Walmart in the county. In January, an SIUE student was killed by two Missouri residents on a highway. In February, Haine said a St. Louis man was charged in a fatal Alton shooting.
Haine also said a St. Louis man was recently convicted in the murder of a Granite City man.
“All members of the task force are on a volunteer basis and will begin to participate in patrols and begin to make an impact against crime flow into and out of Madison County,” he said.
Future phases of the task force’s mission include expanding LPR technology to identify people with outstanding warrants and vehicles known to be involved in criminal activity.
Haine stressed the license plate readers are not red light cameras and they will not issue citations.