Inquiring minds note that East St. Louis, Illinois is in such dire financial straits that massive layoffs in its police force are necessary. East St. Louis is a poor crime-ridden city and the union is up in arms.

Please consider Layoffs to gut East St. Louis police force

At a raucous special City Council meeting, East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks announced that the city will layoff 37 employees, including 19 of its 62 police officers, 11 firefighters, four public works employees, and three administrators. The layoffs take effect on Sunday.

“I want our citizens to know we have some of the bravest police officers and firefighters in the country,” Parks said. “But we don’t have the money to pay them. We have to have fiscal responsibility.”

City officials wanted police and fire unions to accept a furlough program that would have required employees to take two unpaid days in each twice monthly pay period. If accepted, emergency responders would have seen a pay cut of about 20 percent for the rest of the year.

Parks said the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement. On Friday, he stared at a standing-room only crowd and told his emergency response chiefs words they didn’t want to hear: “Tell your workers to start packing their things.”

The news spurred shouts from the crowd. “The blood is on your hands,” yelled Michael Hubbard, an East St. Louis police officer.

Micheal Hubbard, if any blood is spilled over this, it is on the union’s hands, including yours. Only idiots do not understand the budget constraints.

That aside, East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks is taking the wrong approach. Instead of layoffs, the city should outsource the entire force to the local sheriffs’ association, declare bankruptcy, or better yet, both.

Where is the mayor’s response?

On Friday, the city approved a proposal to defer bond payments until next year in order to free up $500,000.

“Next year is a different situation,” Mayor Parks said.

The simple fact of the matter is the mayor is incompetent to propose such preposterous can-kicking measures.

What’s worse is the union does not care how much blood is spilled as long as its senior officers get paid. Let’s do the math. 19 layoffs out of a force of 62 is a massive 30+% layoff. Where is the sense of comradeship? Where is the share the pain fellowship? The union is willing to toss 30% of its membership to the dogs. That’s what this has come down to.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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