[imc-st.louis] Draft Platform on St. Louis Policing and Crime Prevention
fitzdon at aol.com
Tue Nov 18 05:01:28 PST 2008
Draft Platform on St. Louis Policing and Crime Prevention
Please come to the Gateway Green Alliance meeting 7 pm Wed Nov 19, 08 at
3026 Cherokee [at Minnesota] when we will be discussing finalization of
the draft platform on Policing and Crime Prevention.
*Green Party of St. Louis*
*Draft Platform on Policing and Crime Prevention*
Recommended by the November 15, 2008 Elston K. McCowan for Mayor
[This is a draft and *not* the final platform, which will appear on the
The Green Party advocates a reevaluation of crime prevention techniques.
Simple incarceration of mass numbers of citizens is not a long term
solution. Nonviolent offenders should be given alternative sentences
which lead to high school diplomas and job training.
The War on Drugs has never succeeded. We need to de-emphasize drug laws
and decriminalize marijuana. Drug courts and alternative sentencing need
greater funding and implementation. There must be increased funding for
skills training and recreational programs for teens, which need to be
easily accessible and in place throughout the city.
Ending conditions which create crime is the fundamental solution. St.
Louis needs to work in cooperation with the federal government for full
employment and adequate housing for all.
Nevertheless, not all crime stems from poverty. Government needs to look
inward, establishing adequate oversight to find and root out graft and
abuse of power. It needs also to be as hard on corporate criminals as it
is on those on the streets.
Policing in St. Louis has been out of balance. Neither the citizens or
our many fine officers themselves are served by a police department
rocked by scandal. Mayor Slay has failed to provide for even minimal
police accountability. First he vetoed the bill for a Civilian Review
Board which had passed in the Board of Aldermen. He did not respond
forcefully when confronted with scandals involving rape statistics, or
misuse of Cardinal tickets. Recently he was part of the Police Board
which tried to sweep the Towing Scandal involving Chief Mokwa under the rug.
The mayor must fight for Local Control of St. Louis Police, with an
effective Civilian Review Board as part of a new structure of
accountability. A Police Board accountable only to far off politicians
in Jefferson City has not provided adequate oversight. Beyond the
current federal and state investigations looking at the current Towing
Scandal, we need a Blue Ribbon Commission appointed by the Safety
Committee of the Board of Aldermen with input from select citizen
support groups to study and recommend sweeping structural reform within
the Police Department. As part of this reform, the Mayor should sign a
Memorandum of Understanding with police rank and file, guaranteeing
collective bargaining rights with binding arbitration as part of the
Local Control restructuring.
The Missouri annual study of racial profiling has shown no improvement
year after year. The Police Department needs to work quickly to create a
police force which reflects the racial make-up of the city. Furthermore,
police should maintain the traditional stance in favor of
non-enforcement of federal immigration law by municipal authorities.
· There must be local control of the St. Louis Police Department
and an effective Civilian Review Board which has subpoena power.
· Skills training and recreational programs should be created and
· End harassing immigrants and racial profiling.
· Nonviolent offenders should be given alternative sentencing.
· New and effective approaches need to be developed to cope with
· Influence and support legislation to change the discrepancies in
drug sentencing (e.g. crack cocaine and powder cocaine). Culturally
sensitive drug and rehab treatment should be required upon
request/demand through established centers.
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