Prosecutors, sheriffs oppose state cuts to public safety

ANNA, IL (KFVS) - Sheriffs and prosecutors from Johnson, Pulaski and Union counties along with members of the AFSCME Union came together Thursday to oppose state budget cuts.

They were opposing the closure of several Illinois State Police dispatch centers in southern Illinois.

The move would consolidate four dispatch centers currently in Ullin, Carmi and Effingham into one in DuQuoin.

Some southern Illinois sheriffs say that could hurt the ability of Illinois State Police to respond to local emergencies. The dispatchers would direct troopers in 31 southern counties covering an area of 13,000 miles.

"We have a lot of rural roads without names, or with names you wouldn't know if you didn't live here," said Union County Sheriff David Livesay. "For instance: the snake road. If something happens on the snake road, nobody is going to know where that is."

"I know they've got technology now, but I have seen people that are lost who were following GPS," said Johnson County Sheriff Elry Faulkner.

The state also plans to close an Illinois State Police Crime Lab. The Carbondale lab is where local investigators take their evidence to be processed. If the Carbondale location is closed, police will have to drive two hours northwest to Collinsville to drop off evidence.

The state has also announced plans to potentially lay off some parole officers. Police and sheriffs deputies fear those responsibilities may fall to local police.

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