In the midst of chaos and violence the city of St. Louis is looking for a solution. Friday, the board of aldermen heard the first reading of a proposed bill that is designed to help.
"The bill itself would create an independent body of citizens selected from the city who would be able to accept complaints about allegations of misconduct towards members of the St. Louis Police Department." said 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy.
Here is how it would the bill would work. Mayor Francis Slay would appoint seven city residents to the board. The St. Louis Board of Alderman would have to confirm the appointments. The board would be able to independently review evidence and witness statements from investigations by police internal affairs. After the review the findings would be presented to the public safety director and police chief. The board would also make recommendations on police policies and procedures. It is something several alderman have wanted. for years
Terry Kennedy, the alderman behind the bill, says currently, if you have a problem with the police, you have to complain directly to the department. Kennedy says there are similar boards in other cities across America and thinks St. Louis could benefit from one.
The St. Louis police officers association released a statement saying in part, "Our critics on the board of aldermen don't understand or care to understand what they criticize or the devastating effect their attacks on police officers have on the safety and security of the very neighborhoods they represent."
The police union is challenging the bill.