ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - The St. Louis County Police Department does not represent the diversity of the population it serves, according to a newly released report from the U.S. Department of Justice.
An independent investigating agency inside the DOJ worked with the county police department in the review. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar asked for the inquiry.
Chief Belmar issued the following statement after the report's release:
"This report serves as a critical analysis of the police department, borne out of an immeasurable amount of scrutiny following the death of Michael Brown and the events that followed. Throughout this process the police department demonstrated complete transparency in providing data for the COPS office to evaluate the department in many areas.
"This process is similar to this departments CALEA accreditation that we have sustained with excellence since 1998, our Crime Lab accreditation through ASCLD acquired in 2005, and our relationship with UCLA’s Center for Policing Equity that was established in the spring of 2014, to name a few.
"The St. Louis County Police Department has never been a stranger to outside review, having invited such review in order to demonstrate the continued outstanding work all 1,100 members of the department carry out each and every day with an incredible amount of professionalism, dedication and integrity. As with any critical analysis, we will evaluate the recommendations, and move forward in ways that will ensure our commitment to serve and protect the citizens of St. Louis County, while continuing to set an example of leadership for other agencies to follow."
Among the other findings in the report, the feds said the county police department does not require sufficient in-service training that addresses community engagement or community policing. It also said police did not plan properly for the protests in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting.
DOJ officials did commend Chief Belmar for his cooperation and his desire to improve the police department, even it means being criticized in a public report.
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