Macomb, IL – The proposal to close five Illinois State Police headquarters and lay off nearly 400 troopers has caused a stir. Local law enforcement representatives joined community leaders and residents at an emergency Community Quality of Life Advisory Committee meeting.
State Sen. John Sullivan (D-Rushville) and State Rep. Rich Myers (R-Colchester) also joined the discussion to provide perspective from Springfield.
Former ISP District 14 Commander Noel Oliver, currently the McDonough County 911 Director, shocked the room when he spoke of his ISP tenure. He was there in 1992, the last time the state threatened to close the Macomb headquarters.
He says it turned out to be a ploy, designed to get people talking about the budget.
Sen. Sullivan agrees with Oliver. He says he would have gone about discussing the deficit in a different way, but this method is also effective.
"I think [the governor] presented cuts that are going to impact people in a very real way, and it does draw attention to the very difficult position we are in."
Both Sullivan and Myers reiterated that the proposed cuts are just that -- proposals. Both lawmakers don't believe cuts to vital services such as law enforcement will go through.