ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – Just hours before a law enforcing uniform standards on police departments goes into effect around St. Louis County, more communities are joining the fight against it.
Frontenac is the latest city to file suit in opposition to the plan, meanwhile the county executive is sticking to his guns.
There are a number of communities opposing this move to make police departments follow the same rules, and many of them have different reasons for their opposition.
On this night in Breckenridge Hills, their small department is conducting business as usual, but they’re worried. In this town of just a few thousand, mandates like having supervisors on duty 24/7 and psychological testing of all officers come with a price; a price they fear could put them out of business.
Meanwhile in Frontenac they’re worried about a single clause in the law, one that allows the county council to change the rules whenever they want to. They are two very different sets of worries, but both cities are suing to stop the law and there are other reasons as well.
With more than fifty departments impacted, County Executive Steve Stenger is finding it clearer and clearer that he can’t please everyone, but he’s not backing down. He says what unfolded in Ferguson in 2014 made it abundantly clear that changes needed to be made.
As for concerns of smaller communities, Stenger says they aren’t trying to close down departments; in fact they’re willing to assist.