ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO – Missouri Governor Eric Greitens says he is taking stand for police officers in the state. He says more has to be done to protect the men and women who put their lives on the line for the public every shift.
Greitens signed a bill Thursday creating a system to alert other law enforcement agencies and the public when a law enforcement officer has been assaulted.
“If you hurt or attack a police officer in Missouri, we’re going to bring you to justice. You are going to prison and not getting out for a long time; it’s simple,” Greitens said.
Flanked by men and women in the academy and lawmakers, as well as injured officers Mike Flamion of Ballwin and Sgt. Tom Lake of St. Louis City, the governor made it clear the public has to have their backs.
“St. Louis is still most violent city in America; number one in murder, aggravated assault, rape, and armed robbery. Part of creating peace is supporting our law enforcement officers,” Greitens said.
The Blue Alert System will work like an Amber Alert. It will provide real life information with real time issues. Citizens can be an extra set of eyes and ears.
“Last year, killings of officers were up 50 percent from the year before; over 150 percent higher on ambushes in 2016,” said Jeff Roorda, business manager of the St. Louis Police Officers Association.
Saturday will mark the one year anniversary of Officer Flamion being shot and left for dead. Sgt. Lake was shot in his face as he sat at a stoplight in the city back in November. He is in constant pain, but healing well.
“The reality of putting your life on the line is buried in our heads, but coppers don't think it will happen to them,” Lake said. “That fateful night for me was reality hitting home.”