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East St. Louis police to get help


East St. Louis, Ill. – East St. Louis police officers in East St. Louis are getting some help dealing with increased crime and murders.

Officials have created a task force with the Illinois State Police and other agencies.

Officer DeAngelo Franklin says there were 110 city officers when he was hired 12 years ago, but that number is now just 60 because of retirements and early retirement packages.

Franklin says there are often only three or four officers on patrol, sometimes just two.

Efforts are under way to hire more officers. But until that process is completed, the task force will help officers patrol East St. Louis and make arrests. Officials also plan to increase police patrols of the city's low-income housing complexes.

There have now been 16 murders in the city so far this year.