[imc-st.louis] (no subject)
Civilian Oversight Board Campaign
capcr_cob at hotmail.com
Sun Oct 12 08:44:24 PDT 2008
Some of the organizations potentially signing our Open Letter have asked for a few more days to get organization approval. Therefore, we are extending the deadline till the end of the week--Friday, October 17. Below is a copy of the original request and the Open Letter for those who may have missed it. Thank you.
Below is an Open Letter to the two gubernatorial candidates urging them to support Local Control of the St. Louis Police Department. The letter is being sent to St. Louis elected officials and to leaders of St. Louis organizations. We ask you to please sign on. The hope is that we can use this letter as leverage during the crucial period before the elections. If you are part of an organization and can sign on in the name of that organization, please do. If signing as an individual, please give any title which is appropriate and will add weight to your signature.
We ask that you reply to this email address, capcr_cob at hotmail.com by Monday, October 13. Please send any questions to that address as well, or call John Chasnoff at 314-413-0454.
Thank you for your support,
Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression
Open Letter to the Gubernatorial Candidates:
New revelations of misconduct within our St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department have added strength to the argument for Local Control of the police. Within recent years we have had underreported rape statistics, lost money from police vaults, and misuse of seized Cardinal tickets. Now we have a Towing Scandal which involves favoritism, money lost to City coffers, and possible criminal behavior within the police department.
It is clear to us that systems of accountability are not functioning. The Towing Scandal has revealed the Police Board’s pattern of inadequate investigations and failure to monitor important contracts.
The Police Board has five members, four appointed by the Governor of Missouri. This system has been in place since 1861 and is woefully out of date. Originally thought to keep politics out of policing, it has failed to do so. The Department is awash in political influence; Governors and State Legislators over the years have fought to hang on to their political power.
Recent events have demonstrated that the people’s representatives in Jefferson City are too far removed to adequately oversee our police. With a Police Board essentially accountable to no one, our police are losing the confidence of our citizens. Such a situation is dangerous for the future of our city and its people.
We urge you as candidates for Governor of Missouri to take a stand in favor of Local Control. The legislation which has been proposed for several years would give St. Louis the opportunity to structure our own police department. Every major city in the country, outside Missouri, has this right and has been able to find a balance between undue political influence in policing and the need to be responsive to citizens’ needs. We will be able to do the same. This legislation also protects current Department employees, guaranteeing continuity in employment, pay, residency requirements and benefits. It protects police pensions by keeping the current pension program unchanged and administered by the State.
St. Louis citizens are demanding a change. You are in a position to provide leadership on this issue. We are eager to hear your response.
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