Says price of violent crime is too high a price to pay for East St. Louis families
Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–March 5, 2012. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on East St. Louis Mayor Alvin L. Parks Jr., to partner with federal, state and local officials to reduce crime in East St. Louis by reining in the city’s club scene and stopping late night liquor sales.
“It is imperative that the leadership of East St. Louis put the safety of East St. Louis residents before the interests of the liquor stores, night clubs and other establishments that attract crime. Simply put, the nightclubs and the liquor sales need to end at a reasonable hour,” wrote Durbin. “While East St. Louis may receive revenue from these establishments, the price of violent crime is too high a price to pay for the families that call East St. Louis home.”
According to Durbin, East St. Louis’ crime rate is one of the highest in America with a murder rate 20 times the national average for its population size. In the last six months of 2011 alone there were at least four incidents of violent crime in or near East St. Louis clubs. In 2009, East St. Louis had a population of less than 29,000, but had 1,348 reported aggravated assaults, 905 burglaries, 265 robberies and 42 criminal sexual assaults.
“While state and federal resources are being directed to target crime in East St. Louis, it is vital that you, as the Mayor of East St. Louis, do your part to address the conditions that contribute to criminal activity in the city,” wrote Durbin.
Durbin has worked closely with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to implement increased security measures at East St. Louis Housing Authority properties which are federally controlled. He recently announced HUD will spend $400,000 to implement several enhanced security measures including the hiring of a security coordinator, the installation of security cameras, lighting and fencing and the implementation of a ban and bar policy.
Additionally, at Durbin’s request, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has provided its local field office with additional training, mentoring, resources and staffing, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has since increased its focus on investigating violent firearms offenses and gun trafficking in the East St. Louis area.
- Letter to East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks (Download PDF)