Nick Gale, Illinois Bureau

EAST ST. LOUIS, ILL (IRN) –  U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says the recent outbreak of multiple murders and crime in Chicago can be put into check.

Durbin believes the city has the right mayor for the job. “This is a terrible challenging problem but I know this mayor is focused on it and I like his superintendent of police, I think he is focused as well,” Durbin said. He says he has offered his help in securing support from Washington if need be.

Durbin has worked to curb street violence and while he’s confident Chicago can fix the problem it’s a different story in East St. Louis.  This spring Durbin pushed lawmakers in Springfield to pass a measure that would create a commission to oversee the Metro East police departments. The push came after an April visit to his hometown of East St. Louis where Durbin called on the mayor to curb late night club hours in hopes of quelling street violence.

“There’s a mayor there who completely ignores it, and keeps all night, nightclubs open  just attracting violence and drugs and thugs.” Durbin said, “in East St. Louis the mayor (Alvin Parks) is in denial, in Chicago the mayor understands the challenges, tackling it head-on, a totally different situation.”

East St. Louis has one of the highest rates of violent crimes in the U.S. per capita, according to 2010 FBI statistics. Durbin’s bill passed in both the House and Senate but because of Senate amendments the House must take up the measure again.

Durbin’s comments come after several violent weekends in Chicago starting with Memorial Day weekend, during which 10 people out of 40 shooting victims died. Historically Chicago has seen an uptick in violence during warm weather weekends. Anti-violence groups in Chicago say more police are needed on the streets to help quell the violence.

Copyright Illinois Radio Network


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