I support the unionization of and collective bargaining for the police. As this process moves forward, I recognize the need for and support the Ethical Society of Police gaining a stronger voice.
In order to insure that the police pension fund remains secure, I support the fund remaining under the control of the state legislature.
I support greater citizen input into policing. To that end, I am in favor of the establishment of an effective Civilian Review Board (CRB) and local control of the police.
In order to redress the issues of police abuse of power, I support the Civilian Review Board model that was passed by the Board of Aldermen in 2006 (BB 69) and vetoed by Mayor Slay. This bill included subpoena power, CRB access to disciplinary records, investigations into police misconduct to be conducted jointly by the CRB and Internal Affairs, and that the CRB exist financially independent of the police department.
In order to establish genuine local control of the police, I support a fix to Prop A so that citizens have access to investigative records when an officer is accused of a crime. This fix needs to be made in the state legislature. I will actively pursue an aldermanic push for this fix.
As part of the implementation of local control I support the creation of checks and balances on the mayor’s control of the police department. The Board of Aldermen need to have approval regarding the Mayor’s selection of a police chief. Language existing in the City Charter giving the Governor any control over the police department needs to be removed. The police department needs to be its own department, not a division of public safety.
I support reforms to the Racial Profiling Bill to help end existing racial disparities in stops, arrests, and searches. Stop rates occurring in the City of St. Louis are proportionate to the racial makeup, while arrests and searches occur disproportionately. While disproportionately searched, searches of people of color yield less contraband than those of the white population.
I believe it is essential that we as a community assess the use of our local police force in order to go beyond strategies that focus solely on incarcerating offenders. I support working towards creative approaches to crime prevention.