Our Board of Aldermen’s Public Safety Committee meets Tuesday to hear from the Mayor Lyda Krewson’s Staff about St. Louis City’s Racial Equity Lens as it relates to Public Safety.
The City has failed miserably to incorporate racial equity, diversity and inclusion into our Public Safety Department. You cannot possibly use a racial equity lens on the City Workhouse and not see it for great injustice that it is. If there was going to be an announcement Wednesday about closing that hell hole, surely it would be coming from the Mayor and not Staff.
Proposition P is a good example of many City leaders talking the talk but not walking the walk on equity. Increasing diversity on the police force was one of the proponent arguments in favor of increasing sales taxes to pay for raises of police officers. I swear they threw in diversity as a sick joke.
Now that Proposition P has passed, the City is offering $500 bounties to Civil Service employees who successfully refer Police Academy recruits who graduate.
That’s not a diversity recruitment program.
Now that Proposition P has passed, Board Bill 194 was been introduced to eliminate the residency requirement for City employees, a St. Louis Police Officers Association (the white union) priority.
Police may already move out of the City after seven years service by act of the former St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners. Board Bill 194 could mean a police force where most call St. Louis County, Jefferson County, or St. Charles County their home.
If you think St. Louis City has problems now, imagine being the City that allows itself to be policed by people with little relationship, if any, to the people who pay the bills– no shared experiences of school, parks, church, neighborhood association, local small business shopping- no shared City living experience, the good and the bad.
A police force that does not live in the City is unlikely to look like the residents of a City that is half African American. We have that problem right now. Eliminating the residency rule would turn the Police Department into an occupying force.
The City eliminated its diversity recruitment program run by Ethical Society of Police. I am not sure how the Mayor’s Staff can look members of the Public Safety Committee in the eyes and talk about the Mayor’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
ESOP’s successful pre-Police Academy Recruitment Program was appropriated $57,000 in FY2016. Only $17,000 used, the rest returned to General Revenue. A Bargain. In FY2017, funding for the pre-Academy program was eliminated. When Mayor Krewson was elected, she did not seek to return the funding.
Many of us in the #ExpectUs family contacted elected officials about funding for ESOP’s pre-Academy program. Funding was achieved but not from the City.
Thanks to the diligence of State Rep. Bruce Franks, Jr., the program has received funding from the St. Louis Regional Chamber. Not exactly a well known left wing organization.
Mayor Krewson’s Administration will continue to talk about racial equity, and study racial equity, and have meetings about racial equity. Action on equity? Sorry. Action by the Krewson Administration is reserved for luxury villas, hotels, sports teams, Rex Sinquefield’s agenda, raising salaries for an out of control police department, and rewarding supporters.
If you want to see who is really doing something about equity, come to State Rep. Bruce Franks Jr.’s Town Hall Meeting this Wednesday. You can thank him, Regional Chamber, and ESOP for walking the walk.
— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman