St. Louis picked a new police chief yesterday. His name is John Hayden, an African American veteran of the St. Louis force who seems to have a very distinguished career. I wish him well in a tough job. Improving crime and policing in St. Louis is more than one person, but this appears to be an excellent selection. Written by Paul Dribin
St. Louis has gone through a long and consulted process to find a new police chief. Who knows why it has taken so long. I read information about the remaining candidates in the Post Dispatch over the weekend. I was disappointed to see that they are all mediocre at best and some seem terrible. One gentleman received a vote of no confidence from the police officers of his home community.
I supposed it is not surprising St. Louis is facing this dilemma. Why would a top notch candidate come here to face the exceptional crap that goes down. Crime is really high but if the police get aggressive in solving crime they are criticized. A refreshing approach would be to do as Chicago did many years ago and reach out to academia for someone. Chicago hired OW Wilson who turned the department around even though the cops hated him. Maybe we should try the same thing. Written by Paul Dribin
I am glad to see that Proposition P passed. This is a measure to increase the sales tax in St. Louis to increase Police Salaries. Critics of the police and activists have been opposed. I have never understood the logic of complaining about the police needing more training etc. and then denying them the money to do so. I fully realize these funds are only a small part of the effort needed to improve police-community relations, but it is a start. Written by Paul Dribin
I think this comes close to taking the cake for stupidity. Activists in St. Louis have been hugely critical of the city police department for being insensitive to people of color, violating the rights of protesters etc. (No civilians have been hurt in the demonstrations but police have). St. Louis County earlier in the year passed a sales tax increase to raise police salaries and provide more resources to police forces. The city has come up with a similar proposal, Proposition P, largely because the better police officers would leave for the county which would have higher salaries. Well guess what. Activists led by Tashara Jones, Treasurer of the city and almost mayor are opposed to Proposition P because they don’t like the police. So you complain about police behavior and then not want to fund efforts to professionalize and provide more training for police. I guess if police are bad, we will be worse off with more inexperienced and poorly trained officers. Written by Paul Dribin
The crime scene in St. Louis appears to be worse than ever. Shootings and assaults are reported every day and more of them are taking place in good neighborhoods. Aside from the devastation caused to people and communities, the crime has a negative impact on the economy of the area. More people are afraid to go out, and potential visitors are more likely not to come.
The activism surrounding police violence is absolutely on target. Readers must remember that the biggest cause of deaths among African American young men is violence from other African American men. Also police officers I have talked with, both white and black say they are not willing to aggressively go after crime due to the criticism they might receive.
In the end, there are simply too many people acting badly. Many of these folks are not trainable or employable. Mentoring efforts need to take place with at risk families from the time children are born to try to develop parenting techniques that minimize this type of behavior.