Jimmie Edwards | St. Louis Public Radio

Jimmie Edwards

File photo | Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated September 1 at 4:25 p.m. with response from Gardner — The St. Louis chief of police says none of his department’s leadership was involved in developing a list of officers who will no longer be allowed to bring cases to court, contradicting claims of Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner.

“There is no indication that the list was properly vetted,” Chief John Hayden said in a statement released Saturday.” This list is an unnecessary overreach which would be better handled on a case-by-case basis.”

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and then-St. Louis interim Police Chief Larry O'Toole address reporters on Saturday, September 16, 2017.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

A former candidate in the running to become the police chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department last year has alleged employment discrimination by the city of St. Louis.

St. Louis Police Lt. Col. Larry O'Toole filed a complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and another with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging employment discrimination.

Workhouse protest, July 2017
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Activists will rally Wednesday outside the City Justice Center of St. Louis to launch an effort to shut down the city's Medium Security Institution, commonly known as the Workhouse.

The Close the Workhouse campaign comes as progressive politicians across the country look for ways to address criminal justice reform and large cities, such as Philadelphia and New York, take steps to reform their court systems. Close the Workhouse organizers hope their work can lead to change in St. Louis.

Demonstrators marched north along Grand Avenue in the JeffVanderLou neighborhood on June 2, 2018 to call more attention to issues of gun violence.
Shahla Farzan | St. Louis Public Radio

Hundreds of St. Louis-area residents took to the streets on Saturday to call attention to gun violence.

The demonstrators took part in a silent march along Grand Avenue through the JeffVanderLou neighborhood, carrying signs that read “we can end gun violence” and “life is precious.” The event coincided with Wear Orange Weekend, an annual campaign against gun violence held nationwide.

St. Louis Public Radio and other local news outlets took a guided tour of the Medium Security Institution, also known as the Workhouse, in March 2018.
Ashley Lisenby | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis public safety officials want city residents to know people jailed at the St. Louis Medium Security Institution are treated humanely despite allegations to the contrary.

In March, the mayor’s spokesman invited reporters to tour the jail — commonly known as the Workhouse — after weeks of requests for access from local press. A pending lawsuit against the jail by ArchCity Defenders alleges inhumane conditions, including poor ventilation, rodent and insect infestation and problems with black mold.

Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards and Corrections Commissioner Dale Glass fended off the claims in the lawsuit.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief John Hayden poses for a portrait in his office at police headquarters on Olive Street.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

2017 was a violent year in the St. Louis region. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department handled 205 homicides. St. Louis County detectives investigated 55 more.

Getting the 2018 numbers down is a priority for law enforcement at all levels, and the team leading that effort looks much different than it did last year.

St. Louis Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards speaks at a Citizen Advisory Committee meeting in 2017.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards made remarks about crime in St. Louis that prompted a sharp response from civil rights law firm ArchCity Defenders.

Edwards told a crowd at a Martin Luther King Day event that black-on-black crime was a problem African-American residents need to tackle.

Chief John Hayden said police believed the rash of killings over the weekend  to be drug related in a press conference on Monday.
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

A plan by the top two public safety officials in St. Louis to battle crime by directing more resources to higher-crime areas has the backing of aldermen on the public safety committee.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief John Hayden and public safety director Jimmie Edwards spent more than two hours addressing questions from committee members on Wednesday. Both pledged to come before the committee as often as needed to update its members on the progress of the plans, but asked for help from the lawmakers as well to meet their goals.

Maj. John Hayden, left, commander of the St. Louis police department's North Patrol Division, and Chief Patrick Melvin, of the Port Arthur Police Department in Texas, center, and interim St. Louis Police Chief Lawrence O'Toole.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Three outside candidates are among the six people vying to be the next chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

Those six people introduced themselves to the public Thursday night at a public forum at Saint Louis University law school.

Lt. Col. Lawrence O’Toole

O’Toole, a 33-year veteran of the SLMPD, has been interim chief since April, when Sam Dotson retired suddenly on Mayor Lyda Krewson’s first day in office.

Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Voters in the St. Louis region will go to the polls on Tuesday to decide on some key financial issues.

Most of the attention will be on St. Louis, where residents are being asked to raise the sales tax by a half-percent in order to pay police and firefighters more. Voters in St. Louis and St. Charles counties will decide an array of tax-related issues.

The Citizen Advisory Committee, formed by Mayor Krewson to give input on the city's search for a new police chief, listens to public comments at a meeting Tuesday evening.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Candidates interested in being the chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department have until Thursday to submit their applications for the job.

The city has been looking for a chief for the last six months after Sam Dotson's resignation. Phone interviews with qualified candidates are set to start in early November, with final interviews intended for mid-December. City officials hope to have a new chief selected by the end of the year.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Jimmie Edwards talks to reporters on Friday after being appointed as the city's public safety director.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson selected a nationally-renowned judge to head the city’s public safety agency, which oversees the police and fire departments.

Judge Jimmie Edwards’ appointment drew widespread praise, including from elected officials who have been supportive of the protests over former police officer Jason Stockley’s acquittal of first-degree murder in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

Erin Williams

 

Ex-criminal offenders in the St. Louis region will get assistance in finding jobs through two new grants from the Department of Labor.

The Fathers' Support Center received a $1.4 million grant, and the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment is working with the Center to create more job training opportunities for former felons. The “Training to Work – Adult Reentry” grant will fund job training through Ranken Technical College.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Each year, more than 300,000 school-age children go through the criminal justice system. This means that America, a country with the worlds’ highest incarceration rate, is also the global leader in the criminalization of its children. Due in large part to “zero tolerance” policies adopted in the late 1990s, our country’s educational and juvenile court systems have become major suppliers to the school-to-prison pipeline.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 18, 2011 - When visitors to the Innovative Concept Academy in north St. Louis step inside the front door, the first things they encounter are a metal detector and a bank of four TV screens, each monitoring 16 spots where trouble might be brewing.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 8, 2011 - To kick off a nationwide effort to combat the dropout problem among high school students, a town hall in St. Louis Monday night turned the tables and had teachers answering questions instead of asking them.

Based on their responses, the dropout dilemma could be one of the toughest tests they and their students ever face.