ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Gun violence is on the minds of many here in St. Louis, especially in the wake of police shootings in Baton Rouge, suburban St. Paul, the shooting of a Ballwin police officer and the ambush and killings of five officers in Dallas. Multiple protests were held across the country over the weekend, tensions remain high and police remain on high alert.
Retired St. Louis City police chief and now professor of policing and the community at UMSL, Dan Isom, is here to discuss the recent violence in the city, last weeks tragedies, and how to move forward.
Isom’s philosophy is “the people are the police, the police are the people”. He notes that the events of the past week show we have a long way to go.
As a professor, he teaches that police need to make the connection but that the community plays a role too, and the way to success is to recognize that this is a two way relationship.
At many protests throughout the nation this weekend, police departments used a more militaristic style to policing, like we saw in Ferguson. Because of what happened in Dallas, police departments are in high alert. Isom believes that police are trying to respond in a reasonable way.
Also, another more militaristic response was the robot the Dallas police department deployed to end the situation started by the suspect. Isom says this move was unprecedented, and says it’s we must have a conversation about the strategy and asks questions about if this is something we want to continue doing in the future.
Isom notes that there have been changes made since Ferguson, and there are positive conversations are going on across America, but there needs to be more. He predicts that changes will come to training and policy protocol for policing.