This article is 2 years old. It was published on July 1, 2020.
Mayor Lyda Krewson, Public Safety Director Judge Jimmie Edwards, and Police Commissioner Chief John Hayden, in partnership with the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, today announced an outside review of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department aimed at enacting the best policies and practices for improving community policing, protecting civil rights, and reducing violent crime.
“This is about acknowledging that Black Lives Matter, and that in our City, far too many Black lives are lost to violence. It is about believing that community policing and the duty to intervene are essential, and that continued de-escalation, implicit bias, and racial equity training are critical,” said Mayor Lyda Krewson.
The review will cover five key domains of policing: cultural diagnostic, resource allocation, tools and technologies, crime control strategies, and collaboration. It will also build upon the best of the department and its officers, who remain committed to protecting and serving, as their oath says, and maintaining a peaceful community through respecting human dignity and the constitutional rights of everyone.
“We are living in historic and challenging times for our police departments. Gun violence is devastating our community, social change is demanded and needed, recruiting law enforcement is a national problem, and pay disparities with other jurisdictions and residency requirements remain local impediments to hiring,” added Mayor Krewson. “This is a valuable opportunity to bring on fresh ideas and new approaches that worked successfully in other cities and provide us with an analysis and recommendations to improve our departments and our community.”
The review, which is set to begin in July, will be conducted under the leadership of Chief Charles Ramsey, a nationally recognized, senior law enforcement advisor and expert in the area of policing and homeland security.
Chief Ramsey brings to this endeavor the knowledge and experience of more than 40 years in law enforcement and service to police departments in Chicago, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia. In 2014, Chief Ramsey was appointed to serve as co-chair of President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
“Having served as Chief of Police in both Philadelphia and Washington D.C., and as a Deputy Chief in Chicago during his 45 years of service to the community, I welcome the insight and breath of expertise that Chief Ramsey brings to the table. I look forward to working with him,” said Chief Hayden.
Thanks to the generosity of Civic Progress companies and the Regional Business Council, this outside review of SLMPD will not come at the expense of taxpayers.