EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly said it will focus on violent crimes in a new crime-fighting initiative in East St. Louis.

The safety enforcement group quietly began investigations in East St. Louis in August.

Of the 36 homicides so far this year in East St. Louis, eight have been prosecuted so far including one where someone shot into homes with children inside.

Kelly said 16 members of the new initiative will be from East St. Louis Police, state police and a federal task force. He said the most challenging part of solving these crimes is getting people in the community to cooperate.