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Posted on: October 9, 2020

City of Belleville’s Message Regarding the West End Police Station

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On behalf of the City of Belleville’s administration, the city would like to release the following to correct the misinformation being circulated about the West End Police Station at 8800 W. Main St.

The West End Police Station opened in 1996, and it was staffed 24/7, requiring a full-time equivalent (FTE) of six sworn officers.   The facility contained a temporary prisoner cell and a DUI intoxilyzer breath sampling machine.  To support the West End Police Station’s staffing requirement, a police patrol position was left vacant, taking another officer off the streets. 

Former Chief of Police Terry Delaney moved to close the station in 2004, after a lengthy survey designed to determine the usage and services at this location. The survey revealed that requests concerning information, directions, or locations of businesses represented the overwhelming majority of service requests by the public at that facility. 

The Police Administration with approval from the Mayor Eckert discontinued staffing the West End Station with sworn officers and they were reassigned to a police district to actively patrol and respond to calls for service.   A phone for the public connecting the caller to the dispatch center was still available for residents to use if needed. 

The Metro East Auto Theft Task Force (MEATTF) operated out of a section of the West End Station from the mid-2000s until 2015.  Then, former Governor Bruce Rauner issued an Executive Order on January 12, 2015 freezing nonessential funds to include MEATTF funding. Because of that, MEATTF ceased functioning in the West End Station that same year.  The facility remains equipped with a phone and safety measures to lock the doors if required by the public.

Since then, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Belleville Chapter approached the city about renting office space at this location, and per the approval of the city council, that lease, for a term of three years, began last month. We now have another formerly vacant building with occupants who are paying rent to the city. This will now be home to that organization’s administrative offices. 

As for the city’s number of police officers, the FBI does not issue an across-the-board standard of how many officers per 1,000 inhabitants a locality should employ (this is referred to as the Law Enforcement Employment Rate). Rather it collects data on existing staffing levels and finds that cities like Belleville (those in the Midwest with populations between 25,000 to 49,999), have a Law Enforcement Employment Rate of 1.5. Belleville’s current rate is 1.64. So, the fact of the matter is that Belleville has a higher Law Enforcement Employment Rate than cities comparable to it.

We know that this is dense information but are committed to continuing to be transparent to properly inform the residents of Belleville. The City of Belleville and its elected officials continually work to improve the services we offer, which includes police protection. 

The City of Belleville has budgeted for 78 police officers for the 20-21 fiscal year. Currently there are 73 on the force. As you may have recently read, on Sept. 17, the Board of Fire and Police Commission certified a new hiring list for the Belleville Police Department. We have started the preliminary process of conducting background checks on some of those individuals as new hires. This process takes time, but we are certain this new list will result in the hiring of some additional police officers. 

As always, if you have questions, we urge you to reach out directly to your elected officials either at City Hall or in your respective wards, rather than reading misguided and inaccurate information online.


Here's a quick synopsis of what you just read: 

 In 2004, the City of Belleville’s police administration, under former Chief of Police Terry Delaney discontinued staffing the West End Police Station.

  • This happened because requests concerning information, directions, or locations of businesses represented the overwhelming majority of service requests by the public at that facility, and it pulled officers off the street to man the police station. 
  • The Metro East Auto Theft Task Force (MEATTF) operated out of a section of the West End Station from the mid-2000s until 2015, but was defunded by former Governor Bruce Rauner in 2015.
  • Even though vacant, that facility remains equipped with a phone and safety measures to lock the doors if required by the public.
  • The City of Belleville now rents a portion of that facility to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Belleville’s Chapter, thus occupying the space and generating revenue. 
  • The FBI does not release a standard Law Enforcement Employment Rate. Rather it collects data on existing staffing levels and finds that cities like Belleville (those in the Midwest with populations between 25,000 to 49,999), have a Law Enforcement Employment Rate of 1.5. Belleville’s current rate is 1.64. 
  • Belleville has a higher Law Enforcement Employment Rate than comparable cities. 
  • Reach out directly to your elected officials either at City Hall or in your respective wards, rather than reading misguided and inaccurate information online. 

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