St. Louis Metropolitan Police

Board president Lewis Reed signs legislation creating a civilian oversight board for St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

More than 30 years of work by city aldermen and activists paid off Monday, as the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved a civilian oversight board for the city's police department.

Applause broke out in the chambers as President Lewis Reed announced the 17-8 vote. Two members voted present, and one alderman did not vote at all.

Mayor Francis Slay, left, and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson unveil the new Real Time Crime Center at police headquarters.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police will get a new tool this summer to help battle crime. Media got a preview Thursday of the Real Time Crime Center, on the sixth floor of police headquarters at 1915 Olive.

Jamala Rogers (bottom left) and John Chasnoff (bottom right) after the civilian oversight board they have championed for 30 years received initial approval on April 15, 2015
Katelyn Petrin/St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation that would bring more civilian oversight to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is a step closer to Mayor Francis Slay's desk.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen gave the measure creating the civilian oversight board initial approval Wednesday on a voice vote. No exact roll call was taken, though some aldermen did object.

Tony Rothert and Mary Bruntrager on February 25, 2015 after oral arguments on the World Series ticket case
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated with response from Jennifer Joyce.

The Missouri Court of Appeals has ordered the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to release some of the internal documents of an investigation into the misuse of 2006 World Series tickets.

Children use a Little Free Library in North St. Louis.
Gina Sheridan

In celebration of D.E.A.R., “Drop Everything And Read,” day on April 12, we are taking a closer look at the importance of reading and getting books into the hands of children.  

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization in Wisconsin that posts small mailbox-like structures in neighborhoods and fills them with free books. They’ve inspired a movement that has spread to cities throughout the country, including St. Louis.

Between 80 and 100 people rallied in support of law enforcement Saturday, March 28, 2015 outside the headquarters of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Almost 100 people gathered outside the headquarters of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Saturday for a rally in support of law enforcement.

Those in attendance said police officers had been “handcuffed” from doing their job in recent months and are required to give Ferguson-related protesters too much leeway.

Clouds of tear gas engulf W. Florissant Ave on Aug. 17, 2014.
Durrie Bouscaren/St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 4:12 p.m. with comments from attorneys.)

The three agencies that made up the "unified command" during protests in Ferguson over the summer will have to provide warning before using tear gas or other chemical agents to disperse peaceful crowds.

Mayor Francis Slay with police officials 3.23.15
Katelyn Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio intern

A spike in daytime burglaries and the shooting death of a 6-year-old boy near O'Fallon Park are the driving factors behind the latest policing hotspot by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

"Catching the bad guys, making the neighborhood safer. That's what this is about," said Mayor Francis Slay, who spoke to the officers at their daily pre-shift meeting. "It's not as simple as that, of course, but certainly that's the bottom line." 

stl police license
Rachel Heidenry

Can public employees keep records private after a judge has ruled they should be released under Missouri's sunshine law?

That is the question that a panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals will consider Wednesday in a session at the Washington University School of Law.

Terry Kennedy and John Chasnoff chat after committee approval of a civilian oversight bill on February 9.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Six months to the day after Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, a measure that would add an extra layer of public oversight to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department cleared its first legislative hurdle. 

The 8-1 vote by the city Board of Aldermen's public safety committee wrapped up months of negotiations between activists, aldermen and Mayor Francis Slay, as well as three lengthy and often contentious hearings by the public safety committee. Here's how members voted:

Jason Rojas | Flickr

Updated at 9 p.m. with deceased's name.

A 23-year-old black man was killed by police Tuesday in a shooting involving two white officers in St. Louis' Dutchtown neighborhood, according to St. Louis Metropolitan Police.

Police have identified the deceased as Ledarius D. Williams of the 1000 block of Durness Drive. His next of kin have been notified.

Police and protesters scuffle after police union business manager Jeff Roorda allegedly grabbed a protester at a January 28 meeting oh the public safety committee.
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 11:55 a.m. Thursday with comments from the St. Louis police.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has released the following statement:

"A police report with multiple complainants has been filed relative to the incident that occurred during last night's public hearing at City Hall.  There is an ongoing investigation to determine what occurred. " 

Our original story

Chief Sam Dotson addresses officers on JAnuary 26, 2015
Katelyn Petrin/St. Louis Public Radio

Saying it's time to get back police back into the neighborhoods, St. Louis Metropolitan police chief Sam Dotson on Monday launched the first of three so-called "hot spots" -- or additional patrols designed to combat areas experiencing an uptick in crime.   

For the next week or so, officers from city-wide units will help patrol the Carr Square, St. Louis Place and Old North neighborhoods north and west of downtown. Officers have been told by their commanders to be visible and to focus on arresting people, even for minor crimes.

Alderman Antonio French said regular updates from St. Louis Police chief Sam Dotson would increase police accountability.
Joseph Michael Leahy

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen’s Public Safety Committee wants monthly updates from Police Chief Sam Dotson on the status of his department and crime in the city.

Committee members agreed Wednesday morning to request the updates as an interim solution while they work to establish a more permanent system of accountability. The police department has been under local control since 2013 after the city gained oversight from a state board.

Mayor Francis Slay announces an initiative to increase the diversity of the public safety department
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Updated at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 20 with approval of money.

The Board of Estimate and Apportionment approved $39,000 of the proposed $50,000 for the minority recruitment program. An additional $11,000 may be available next fiscal year. The city and the Ethical Society of Police must still sign a contract outlining the details.

The grant comes as the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department faces a federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint over its promotion policies. The St. Louis Fire Department has faced several lawsuits over the same issue.

St. Louis Police Department Detective Deandree Davis, far left, and Officer Darius Rutling, Karen Kalish and Woerner Elementary School principal Peggy Meyer discuss the Books and Badges program with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 15, 2015.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

After an uneventful police ride-along, Karen Kalish had an idea. She wanted to match police officers with young students who struggle with reading. For the past 12 years, Books and Badges has paired St. Louis police recruits and elementary school children.

Mayor Francis Slay and chief Sam Dotson at a press conference on January 15, 2015, discussing six homicides in 13 hours.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Updated at 1:35 p.m. Friday with additional information about the crimes.

A spate of violence in St. Louis overnight Wednesday left six people dead in five unrelated incidents.

"This is a big black eye on our city," a somber Mayor Francis Slay said at a press conference Thursday evening. "I have a tremendous amount of sympathy for the families of these victims. This is something that we're not proud of." 

Almost all of the city's murders in 2015 involved guns.
(via Flickr/alancleaver_2000)

Updated with comments from police chief Sam Dotson and circuit attorney Jennifer Joyce.

Even though overall crime continued its downward trend in St. Louis, 2014 was a violent year in the city, with 159 people killed. 

Police chief Sam Dotson addresses Tower Grove South residents at a community meeting on December 12, 2014.
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

Updated January 6, 2015, at 1:15 PM:

A federal judge is extending a court order that requires police to provide sufficient warning before using tear gas to give lawful protesters a chance to leave.

U.S. District Court Judge Carol Jackson on Tuesday gave attorneys representing protesters and police 45 days to continue what one lawyer called “good faith” settlement discussions on policy changes regarding the use of tear gas. Both sides met on Monday and participated in a conference call, and agreed more time was needed.

Logos of the St. Louis County and St. Louis Metropolitan Police.
St. Louis County website / file photo

Thousands of people in St. Louis and St. Louis County are a hundred dollars richer after police in both jurisdictions handed out $100 bills Tuesday as part of a one-day Secret Santa blitz.

Joseph Higgs from south St. Louis was one of the people who received the cash.

Higgs said that he has had more negative than positive experiences with police in the past so this experience has helped improve his opinion of law enforcement.

Pages