CLAYTON, MO – The battle lines were drawn tonight in a fight between the St. Louis County Police Department and the Ethical Society of Police. The group works with city officers and now wants to help county police.
ESOP says it has no intention of becoming the bargaining unit for county police but wants to champion fairness and equality concerning diversity issues including race, religion, and sexual orientation among police officers. ESOP believes different officers are being bullied under current conditions and ESOP says it would allow their voices and those issues to be heard.
This all came to a head when Police Chief Jon Belmar refused to sign and memorandum of understanding with ESOP.
A spokesman for the chief said he`d have no comment tonight other than a letter he sent concerning ESOP, which says the department already negotiates exclusively with the Fraternal Order of Police. That the department has seen an increase in minority recruits and many minority officers have joined the command staff. He gave credit to ESOP`s work in the community has made a positive impact.
The group's president says unless they can work something out they may go to court.