Security added around Belleville mayor following credible threats

Illinois

BELLEVILLE, Ill. – Added security around Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert began Jan. 13. Federal authorities shared information about a threat the Belleville Police Chief deemed credible.

“He felt that he had to add security to city hall when I’m here,” Eckert said.

The chief also determined added security should follow Eckert to his neighborhood, according to the mayor.

Eckert spoke to FOX 2 about the added security because some residents have wondered why police were following him. He cited the recent storming of the US Capitol and threats against other elected officials as reasons to take recent threats seriously.

“It’s just not the time to ignore any of these types of concerns,” Eckert said.

The mayor said he could not go into details about the recent threats because a federal investigation is underway. Eckert said one recent issue that’s sparked a great deal of debate has been dining restrictions due to COVID. He’s hopeful the political climate will calm as the vaccination process moves forward.

“Hopefully that, along with other things, will turn the temperature down on so much frustration that’s been brewing in so many different directions,” Eckert said.

It’s not clear how much longer that added security will be in place. Eckert said he’s grateful to the Belleville Police Department for the security. He said of the threat, “It’s not stopped us from doing our jobs.”

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