Federal, state and local police officers in the metro-east on Friday activated a unified command center to coordinate response from multiple police departments if the protests from the Jason Stockley not-guilty verdict spread to the east side where Stockley grew up.
“We’ll be monitoring the events in St. Louis ... as long as we need to,” said Illinois State Police Trooper Calvin Dye Jr., who is the spokesman for the command center. “Everybody here is very dedicated to make sure the citizens of the metro-east are safe. It’s a team effort.
“We encourage all media and citizens to follow our Metro East Joint Information Center Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/metroeastjic for the latest information regarding this situation,” Dye said.
Protesters upset with the Stockley verdict took to the streets in downtown St. Louis Friday after the verdict was announced.
The metro-east command was established during the Ferguson, Mo., riots in 2014 following the shooting of Michael Brown by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
Stockley, a Belleville native and Althoff Catholic High School graduate, is a former St. Louis police officer who on Friday was acquitted by a judge of first-degree murder. He was charged in connection with the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith on Dec. 20, 2011.
Belleville Police Chief Bill Clay noted the unified command center had been activated and that the Oktoberfest in downtown Belleville was moving forward Friday and Saturday as planned.
Dye said Illinois State Police Capt. Timothy Tyler and Fairview Heights Police Chief Nick Gailius are leading the joint command center.