It's home to just 822 residents living on 69 acres, but the city of Flordell Hills is getting its own police department.
The St. Louis County suburb's contract with its slightly larger neighbor, Country Club Hills, expires at midnight Tuesday. Some of Flordell Hills' six officers had already been patrolling the streets of the town, which sits between Jennings Station and West Florissant roads.
Four young people active in the Ferguson protests joined two St. Louis County Police officers and two St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers for an emotional discussion Saturday about the barriers between police and the community. Before an audience of about 50, they offered and discussed suggestions to start bridging the gap.
Most of the panelists agreed that the effort led to some progress towards understanding.
The shooting deaths of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson and 25-year-old Kajieme Powell in St. Louis have focused a bright spotlight on the authority that police officers have to use force – sometimes deadly – to keep themselves and others safe.
Fatal use of force encounters are rare. But the questions raised when they happen reflect society’s broader struggles.
More than one-third of the military equipment deemed surplus and made available in the Defense Department’s so-called 1033 program was either new or unused according to information provided Tuesday to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.
Representatives from the departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice faced sometimes pointed questions about waste, weak oversight and almost nonexistent coordination among the programs their departments administer to help local police departments gain access to military equipment.
On Tuesday's one-month anniversary of the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer, some local leaders focused on ways to move forward, while Brown's family called again for answers in the investigation.
Local elected leaders representing the Ferguson area came together Tuesday to discuss strategies to heal after the unrest that shook the city for more than two weeks in August following Brown's death.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus used an hour of so-called special orders on the House floor Monday night to draw attention to troubles confronting minorities across the U.S. with special attention paid to the recent unrest in Ferguson., Missouri.
U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, opened his comments by saying the pain felt in Ferguson following the shooting death of Michael Brown “has stirred the conscience of the nation and has forced us to confront some very difficult truths.”
Armed with a "laundry list of questions," U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., will lead the Senate Homeland Security Committee Tuesday in a hearing to examine the militarization of local police departments. The hearing follows public outrage over what some saw as an excessive police response to protests in Ferguson following the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white Ferguson police officer.
Three different federal departments have programs to help local police departments acquire military-type hardware, including armored vehicles, and tactical gear and weapons.
After another night of looting, the union leader of the St. Louis County Police criticized the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s decision to respond to protests with a relaxed police presence.
“Even though they were very critical of the tactics used during the first four days, they are now using those same tactics once again,” Crocker said. “We have individuals who have been shot, officers who have been injured. People that have been assaulted and robbed.”
Armored cars, rubber bullets, riot shields and K-9 units have had a regular presence at demonstrations in Ferguson over the past week since a Ferguson police officer shot and killed an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown.
Thursday, Gov. Jay Nixon put the Missouri Highway Patrol in charge in Ferguson and called for a softer tone in the police presence.
Many are wondering if the police went overboard in using force against the crowds that have gathered in Ferguson every evening since Brown's death.
Protesters are greeted by a wall of police officers after a march to the Ferguson police department on August 11, 2014. People are upset because of the Ferguson Police shooting and death of an unarmed black teenager Michael Brown on August 9, 2014. In all about 20 businesses sustained damage after a candlelight vigil turned violent.
The calls for greater representation of minorities in the region's law enforcement ranks have grown louder in the wake of the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown at the hands of a Ferguson police officer. Protesters want to see more minorities especially in the police departments serving predominantly African-American communities.
Two-thirds of Ferguson’s residents are black, according to 2013 census records. But there are only three African Americans on the city’s 53-member police force. The city council is also predominantly white, as is the mayor.