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St. Louis County Council approves police body cameras, subpoenas Northwest Plaza developers

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis County police are a step closer to getting body cameras and in-car cameras.

According to our partners at the Post-Dispatch the St. Louis County council unanimously approved $1 million for the cameras. The money comes from the Proposition P tax hike for public safety, approved by voters in 2017.

Several police officials from municipal departments urged the council to approve the contract, touting the benefits of using the devices. The county must still develop rules regarding the use of body cameras.

Meanwhile, the St. Louis County Council voted Tuesday to force the developers of the old Northwest Plaza site to testify about the county’s office 2016 leases.

Developers Robert and David Glarner were among the largest contributors to then-county Executive Steve Stenger's campaign. Both Stenger and the Glarners deny any pay to play accusations.

A spokesman for the Glarners, Rich Chrismer said in a statement:

“When you consider the openness and transparency the Glarners have showed since Day One over three administrations, supplying more information about the leases every time the county requested it; when you consider that the committee made this recommendation to the council before it reviewed the more than 7,000 pages of information the Glarners willingly provided; when you consider the Glarners' willingness to discuss the leases with County Executive Page and his team; when you consider the world-class government and commercial center they created at the Crossings at Northwest for the county and the City of St. Ann; and when you consider all of this, it's not easy to dismiss the idea this might have more to do with politics and political theatrics than substance.

We can find no precedent for this council ever taking such action against private citizens or anyone so this action should concern every businessperson and citizen of St. Louis County since it establishes the precedent that the council believes it can use its authority to interrogate private citizens.

Nearly thirty percent of the county council seats are vacant, including zero representation for the citizens of the 2nddistrict, where the Crossings of Northwest is located.  Of course, we are not being critical of the council for these vacancies, but we are pointing out that this is a drastic step by a county council with substantial vacancies, together with the fact that meetings and conversations with the County Executive’s office about this vital partnership are ongoing.”

 

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