Alorton is one of the reasons why we can't wait until the Metro East Law Enforcement Commission is up and running.
About 700 traffic tickets are missing from Alorton since 2010 including one for Centreville Township Supervisor Curtis McCall. Why is anyone's guess. As St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly put it, "It's either outright corruption or ineptness -- and either one is a threat to justice."
Also a threat to justice is the fact that Alorton has failed to keep tabs on whether officers had the certifications needed to be on the job. Four officers were fired after working for months without state certification. Two other officers' certifications are also in question.
Kelly's office will have a difficult, maybe impossible, task of prosecuting the cases they handled.
A lack of policies, procedures and professionalism have been problems in Alorton, Centreville, Washington Park and East St. Louis in recent years. That's why state lawmakers this spring approved the creation of a law enforcement commission.
The hope is the commission can provide the structure and stability needed so the public can have confidence in the policing efforts in these communities.
Some of the work has already begun. The law allows the communities to spend tax increment financing tax dollars, which are intended for economic development, on hiring police officers and the planning is underway.
Seven commission members still need to be appointed by Gov. Pat Quinn and confirmed by the state Senate during the fall veto session. Quinn is supportive of the commission. He can best show that by having the names ready to go when the session starts so this can be one of the Senate's first items of business.