Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Restructure St. Louis Police

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Restructure St. Louis Police

Article excerpt

The new police chief of Ferguson is a qualified and honorable man, but aren't we setting him up for failure if we don't fundamentally change the structure of government? After the honeymoon period, residents will demand professional policing with even fewer resources than were available before. Hence, a comprehensive plan needs to be adopted.

The global spotlight has been cast on Ferguson and various municipalities that have been caught with revenue-generating policies that inappropriately use the police, ticketing and courts. The use of police officers and law enforcement as a means of raising revenue is indefensible. In order to advance the interests of our community, we must start by revamping our police services, and correct injustices.

The rightful job of law enforcement is to keep the peace, make our streets and communities safe, and protect our citizens and businesses through the proper enforcement of our laws.

We take pride in and want to preserve our neighborhoods and their distinctive cultures. Yet, we work, shop and enjoy all our larger community has to offer. We drive across local city borders on a daily basis. Our families rely upon the police services provided throughout the metro area, not just in the city where we reside, and we all benefit by having consistency and equity across our community.

Recall our basic proposed structure with nine boroughs governing locally and a council of mayors to oversee the entire region. The council of mayors would retain a CEO (city manager) to oversee a regional administration.

What if we had nine boroughs, with police departments in each borough, charged with patrol and local enforcement? Each borough would have its own chief of police and cadre of patrolmen, sergeants, lieutenants and captains. These nine chiefs, all professionals skilled in law enforcement, would sit on a police board, served by a professional administrator. …

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