Board of Police Commissioners Duties

Below are the duties and responsibilities of the Board of Police Commissioners as charged by the St. Louis County Government Charter (Section 4.270)

1. The board of police commissioners shall be in charge of the department of police. 

2. The board shall consist of five members who shall be residents of the county for not less than three years next preceding their appointment. Not more than three members of the board shall belong to the same political party, and none shall hold any other public office, members of the organized militia or of the reserve corps of the armed services and notaries public excepted. The members of the board shall be appointed by the county executive with the approval of a majority of the entire county council. All such appointments shall become effective twenty days after such approval unless disapproved prior thereto by a majority of the circuit judges of the county. Members of the board shall serve overlapping terms of three years. Commissions shall be issued by the county executive to the persons so appointed designating the time for which appointed. Any vacancy in the board shall be filled by appointment and approval in like manner for the unexpired portion of that term. All members shall continue to serve until their respective successors shall have been appointed and qualified.

3. Any member of the board may be removed for cause by the county executive with the approval of a majority of the entire council, but such member shall first be presented with a written statement of the reasons therefor, and shall have the privilege of a public hearing if the member so requests.

4. The board annually shall select one of its members as chairman, one of its members as vice-chairman, and one of its members as secretary to serve during the ensuing year and until their respective successors are selected and qualified. Any member of the board or any other member of the department of police, who during the member's term of office shall accept any other public trust or emolument, or who shall knowingly receive any nomination for any office elective by the people without publicly declining the same within twenty days succeeding such nomination, or who shall become a candidate for the nomination for any office at the hands of any political party, shall be deemed to have thereby forfeited and vacated office as such member of board or police department.

5. A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, but no action shall be taken by the board unless three concurring votes are cast.

6. The board shall have power to summon and compel attendance of witnesses before it, whenever necessary in the discharge of its duties, and shall have power to administer oaths or affirmations in the premises to any person appearing or called before it.

7. The board shall have the following powers and duties: (1) to formulate policies governing the operation and conduct of the department of police; (2) to appoint as superintendent of police a person qualified and experienced in police administration and law enforcement, and to remove such superintendent by vote of a majority of the entire board; provided, however, that the superintendent shall first be presented with a written statement of the reasons therefor, and shall have the privilege of a public hearing if he so requests; (3) to hear and determine appeals from the decisions of the superintendent of police on disciplinary matters arising within the department; (4) to formulate standards for observance by police departments of municipalities of the county, in order to secure deputization of their personnel by the superintendent; (5) to promulgate, upon recommendation of the superintendent of police, a manual of rules and regulations for the qualifications, conduct and discipline of personnel of the department of police, and its operation; (6) to hear and determine appeals from citizens from decisions of the superintendent regarding their complaints; (7) to have such other powers and duties with respect to police administration and law enforcement as the council may by ordinance provide; (8) to regulate and license all private watchmen, private detectives and private police serving or acting in the county and no person shall act as such without first having obtained such license as authorized by law or by ordinance. Penalties for the violation of regulations promulgated by the board under this subsection shall be prescribed by ordinance. 

From and after January 1, 1979, no municipality within the county shall enact or enforce any regulation or license of private watchmen, private detectives or private police. The expenses of regulation and licensing under this subsection shall be defrayed by fees from the licenses prescribed under this subsection and to the extent that said license fees are not sufficient to fund the regulation and licensing, such difference shall be financed by county general revenue funds.