ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – A You Paid For It investigation into Metrolink safety reveals overall crime is down, but it’s up in serious categories like assaults, CCW, and disturbances and robbery.
Metro Trustee Board Member Mike Buehlhorn says the agency is doing the best it can.
He agrees it would be better to have its own police force, but says that would be hard to do.
Investigator Elliott Davis discovers some of the reasons why.
First the original agreement between the Missouri and Illinois setting up Metro, also called the Bi-State Development Agency, bars the agency for having its own police force.
Instead it’s required to enter into contracts with local police agencies for rider protection.
For example, it paid The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office $1.3 million dollars in the past year for 22 Deputies. That’s about $59,000 per deputy.
It pays St. Louis County Police $1.7 Million for 22 officers about $77,000 per officer.
St. Louis city police get $600,000 for 8 Officers. That’s about $75,000 per officer.
Metro says it doesn’t even get documentation on the hours those officers work. In short it’s paying the bill, but has no control over the police officers assigned to Metro by the various law enforcement agencies.
Getting its own police force would require Metro to get the okay from the Illinois and Missouri legislatures along with the okay from the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County and St. Clair County.
Achieving that might be tough because of the invested interest in keeping things as they are now in order not to lose money for Metro.