posted on March 04, 2020 10:16
The St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners met on February 26, 2020, at 6PM, at The Pavilion at Lemay, 305 Gregg Road, St. Louis, Missouri, 63125. In attendance were Commis sioners Price, Schwerin, Gaertner, Hassler, Punch and Chief Belmar.
1. Public Forum
A "listening session" was available to those who wished to address the Board and answer the question, "What are the two or three most important attributes the Board should consider in their selection of the next Chief of Police?"
Frank Heckler - The new chief needs to be a leader and choose strong leaders for our precincts and values the support of the citizens. It is also important that the St. Louis County Police as a whole is safe and St. Louis County as a whole is safe. The new chief would need to have an understanding of the issues we are facing and the ability to bring diverse people together to find solutions.
Marion Monteleone - (60 year resident, retired captain of St. Louis County Police Department) The three most important qualities are one; integrity. If the community and the police department don't believe in the chief's integrity then there will be no leadership. And loyalty, once again not just to the police department but to the community. If the community does not feel that they're being honest and loyal to the community, then you won't have any influence on the community. And one that might be the most important is decisiveness. We can't have a chief that waffles back and forth about how he thinks the job should be done. The people that work for him and the community should know exactly how he's going to operate and how he makes decisions.
Ronny Griffin - I would like to think that the police chief should be chosen from the local ranks. They know the community. They know the diversity in the community. They know the issues in the community.
Tony Grasso, Ill - Since a lot of your budget comes from the real estate tax, the next police chief needs to have one; a historical understanding of the basis and 50 year expansion of the real estate tax scam in St. Louis County and two; a current understanding of my retroactive remedial taxation fix under the 1995 Missouri Supreme Court decision Beatty vs. State Tax Commission. The next chief can work with the author of that decision, Police Officer Wildhaber's attorney, Missouri Supreme Court Judge Robertson, who also played on my rugby team same rugby team that I started in college, and Missouri Supreme Court Judge, past judge, Chairman of this body, Judge Price. The next chief needs to work to end this tax scam where my family and other families that I went to grade school and high school with have shafted your department and everyone else in St. Louis County out of a lot of money under revised statute 137.006.
Linda Holtz - Officers look to the chief for leadership so the chief must be a good manager with high ethical standards. The chief must also have and maintain the respect of the St. Louis County officers. The community looks to the chief for answers on crime, problems, and on leadership in emergency situations. Look at candidates who have a good employee record, an awareness and respect of the uniqueness of St. Louis County, is skillful in dealing frequently and effectively with the public, has a history of quality leadership, the education and training the office of chief requires, an ability to learn and maintain the respect and confidence of the rank and file officers as well as the public, experience with various departments, precincts, special units and areas of service, decision making competence, demonstration of an ability to work under heavy fire of political, social, internal or external.
Steve Finner - It seems to me and many of my friends and neighbors that the most critical criteria for selection should be that the next chief be a resident of St. Louis County. Secondly, I believe that the next chief should be a man or woman of high character, that has the ability to rekindle public trust and enthusiasm in rank and file. It is vital that our next chief have a spotless record of high character, be respected by his and hers peers.
Bob Burns - It's so incredibly important to these people in this area to have a low crime rate and high property value. I would encourage you please to if you were picking a chief please pick one from the police department now.
Tony DePung - We hope that you pick someone from within. That's one thing that we think would help and that helped in the past as well. Someone that knows the areas of the counties.
Brian Lenhardt - What I ask of you as a business leader and as well as the South County Chamber of Commerce, Chief Belmar has always allowed the business community to have the open door policy. If we had a concern, we could call Chief Belmar or Chief Belmar has always allowed his commanding officers, whether it's the captains or it's the sergeants to be a part of the Chamber of Commerce meetings and hear the feedback from the business community of what we need to have to make our businesses grow. So it's always been the common sense law enforcement approach so I hope that you take a look at individuals that have a lot of common sense and can help the community grow because we have a lot of opportunity here. I think within his staff there lies another great person that can take over this department.
Ernie Trakas - I'd like you to consider at a minimum that you choose a proven leader committed to the equitable application of the rule of law. A leader focused on recruiting the best candidates to join an outstanding department and provide all tools necessary to every officer to successfully serve and protect the citizens of St. Louis County. This would include active community policing, ,include addressing all violations of County ordinances, including perceived minor violations such as problem properties, properties in disrepair or neighbors being unneighborly to their neighbors and minor crime. A leader unafraid to support his or her rank in file, including the courage to point and condemn unwarranted solicited demonization and disrespect of police officers in whatever form it presents itself.
Cathy Armbruster - We need somebody that is going to listen to our problems, do something about our problems and Tim Fitch was good at doing that and we need somebody like him that was in the community. Some of our officers now and lieutenants and captains, they know the areas and that's what we need.
Bridget Walsh Moore - There's nothing more important than the safety of our officers but that also means while protecting themselves they should also properly protect the citizens of South County so I want to make sure that no matter who is chosen that they will support proper training for de-escalation and proper handling of situations rather than through force and focus on community development not only stopping problems when they happen but being actively engaged in the community so that crime doesn't take root and isn't allowed to grow so someone who is concerned about the equitable application of justice and also making sure that stopping, weeding out problems before they start with community engagement.
Angie Zorich - A chief who's aware of the diversity in the police department. We need a chief who understands who can work on training, you know de-escalation training that's very very important. Somebody you know who tells the truth um and somebody who's aware of of not only the good things that the police departments are providing for the community but also where we have some serious issues.
Motion was made by Commissioner Gaertner and seconded by Commissioner Schwerin to close the meeting. Motion unanimously approved. There were no votes or decisions made in the closed session.
Motion was made to reopen the meeting. Motion approved.
Motion was made by Commissioner Hassler and seconded by Commissioner Gaertner to adjourn the meeting. Motio unanimously approved.