St. Louis Police Department

Protesters outside St. Louis County headquarters on Feb. 2, 2015 call for reforms of the municipal court system.
File photo by Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Following the police shooting death of Michael Brown in August 2014, there was a flurry of activity surrounding police and municipal court reform, as a well as public safety. Those efforts spilled over into 2015, which saw some changes come to St. Louis and St. Louis County.

On Tuesday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” we discussed the year’s biggest public safety, courts and police news with St. Louis Public Radio reporter Rachel Lippmann, who has been covering these issues for several years.

A St. Louis police officer will be disciplined for wearing a "Wilson" patch on his uniform, Chief Sam Dotson said Friday.
Rebecca Smith

A St. Louis police officer will face discipline for wearing a patch on his uniform seemingly in support of former Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson, during a downtown protest Friday.

An officer with the last name of Coats was seen wearing an arm patch that read "Wilson" during a protest against the grand jury decision not to indict Wilson for August's fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

Long-time St. Louis Alderwoman Phyllis Young announced Friday that she will be stepping down next week.

Young, a Democrat, has been the alderwoman for the 7th Ward for nearly 30 years, making her the longest serving alderman. Her ward encompasses parts of downtown and Soulard.

"After much soul searching and discussions with family and friends, I have decided that 29-plus years is enough," Young wrote to her colleagues.

Dr. Cyril Wecht marks the location of the likely fatal head shot as he presents his initial autopsy results on Vonderrit Myers, Jr.
Rebecca Smith/St. Louis Public Radio

The initial findings of a private autopsy on the body of Vonderrit Myers, Jr., released Thursday, show the 18-year-old was shot several times from behind. 

Myers was fatally shot by an off-duty St. Louis police officer on October 8th in the city's Shaw neighborhood, after police say Myers fired at the officer.

According to their attorneys, the family ordered the autopsy because they believe the police are giving inaccurate accounts of what happened. 

St. Louis Police Officers Association president Joe Steiger, business manager Jeff Roorda and attorney Brian Millikan comment on the lab tests that found gun residue on the hand of Vonderrit Myers during a press conference Tuesday.
Stephanie Lecci

Lab results show gunshot residue was found on the 18-year-old who was fatally shot by an off-duty St. Louis police officer in the Shaw neighborhood last week, according to new information released by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Tuesday.

The tests were conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol's crime lab. The results found gunshot residue on Vonderrit Myers, Jr.'s, hand, inner waistband, front and back jeans pockets and black t-shirt. The released statement also read: 

(St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson says he’s frustrated and disappointed after learning a black officer received a racist letter through interdepartmental mail.

Dotson has ordered internal and criminal investigations after learning about the letter last week.

(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Dept.)

Legislation being considered by the Missouri Senate would allow the Circuit Court for the city of St. Louis to create a special docket for armed offenders.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The move to a new building for the St. Louis Police Department is going to be more expensive than first thought.
 
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that bids came in more than $1.6 million over expectations. Now, the move will be delayed until early next year - nearly a year later than the original estimate.
 

St. Louis Public Radio

It was a crowded agenda for the five members of the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners today. Here's a recap of some of the main agenda items:

Crime

B0th police chief Sam Dotson and Mayor Francis Slay are downplaying a jump in the crime numbers in January.

The report released today shows total crime was up 23 percent last month compared to January 2012. There were 11 murders last January, and 15 this year.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 12:45 Thursday, Feb. 7 with arrest numbers.

The St. Louis Police Department is deploying 80 extra officers and resources to north city’s College Hill neighborhood.

The area, which borders O’Fallon Park to the west and Interstate 70 to the north, has been the site of a number of shootings recently, including three murders.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson says the department is used to this kind of “hot-spot policing,” and says the tactic has been used to great effect in other parts of the city.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Police Department is planning free seminars for businesses and schools to receive training for an “active shooter” scenario.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson says the recent spate of high-profile tragedies across the country underscores the need for more training.

Shortly after taking over as chief Dotson met with the representatives from public and private schools to begin the process.

(via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

When the 2012 crime statistics were reported last week, there was good news in both St. Louis City and the portion of St. Louis County patrolled by St. Louis County Police. 

(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department)

Sam Dotson is the new chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

He comes to the position after spending about twenty years with the Department.

Dotson joined host Don Marsh for a wide-ranging discussion.  They talked about taking the reins of the St. Louis Police Department as it prepares to transition to local control and about making the force one which is fully up to speed on 21st century policing practices.

(via Flickr/peter.a_photography)

A St. Louis alderman wants the city to reduce the penalties for possessing a small amount of marijuana. Alderman Shane Cohn plans to introduce a bill Friday that would allow St. Louis police to send people with a small amount of marijuana to municipal court. Currently, marijuana offenders are charged under state laws.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the municipal violation would bring a fine of $100 to $500 and up to 90 days in jail. The proposal also would exempt anyone from another state who has a prescription for medical marijuana.

St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Police Department will take part in an investigation into who killed Ebony Jackson, the mother of a baby found early Friday morning in Breckenridge Hills.

Jackson's body was in the trunk of her car Tuesday, which was located in St. Louis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that an autopsy performed Wednesday revealed that Jackson was shot in the head.  

(St. Louis Public Radio)

The new chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department says he wants to implement a civilian review board in the city of St. Louis.

Sam Dotson officially took over as chief on Tuesday. The former operations director for Mayor Francis Slay replaces Dan Isom, who retired.

(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department)

Updated at 7 pm with comments from Dotson, Mayor Francis Slay, and the police union.

A 18-year veteran of the St. Louis Police Department who has spent the last 18 months assigned to City Hall as the operations director for Mayor Francis Slay is the chief of police for the city.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The praise was widespread, and the plaques and gifts many on Tuesday as local, state and federal law enforcement agencies gathered at the headquarters of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to pay tribute to Chief Dan Isom.

Isom is retiring in January to take a position with the criminology department at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Isom, who has been chief since October 2008, has his bachelor's, masters and doctorate from the school.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The process of turning control of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department over to City Hall begins today.

Ald. Craig Schmid, the chair of the public safety committee at the Board of Aldermen, will introduce the bill in which the city accepts "responsibility, ownership and liability as the successor-in-interest for contractual obligations, indebtedness and other lawful obligations of the Board of Police Commissioners."

St. Louis Public Radio | File Photo

St. Louis police chief Dan Isom says aggressive policing efforts are continuing to bring down the rate of aggravated assaults and other gun crimes in the city.

Isom's analysis came during his monthly report on crime numbers to the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners. Overall, crime in the city is down 12.7 percent from last year.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Following the announcement last month that St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom would resign to take a job at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, the names of those vying to take his place were announced today by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

Here they are (listed with last name first, followed by rank, and in alphabetical order):

1. Caruso, Michael (Capt.)

2. Dotson, D. Samuel (Capt.)

3. Edwards-Fears, Mary (Capt.)

Bill Raack, St. Louis Public Radio

For the past year, St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch and community organizations have held nearly two dozen town hall meetings to raise awareness of the heroin epidemic. Deaths from heroin overdoses continue to decline, but officials say they are seeing an uptick in some age groups.

Through September of this year there have been 45 heroin deaths in St. Louis County, that’s compared to 55 last year.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie Bierach sat down with Chief Fitch to talk about their efforts to go after heroin suppliers.

(via Flickr/neil conway)

A former St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department sergeant whose responsibilities included conducting investigations into the distribution of illegal drugs has been sentenced to 57 months in prison for running his own drug ring - that's almost five years for those of you doing the math.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

For the first time ever, Missouri’s Medal of Valor has been awarded posthumously.

During a ceremony today at the State Capitol, Missouri's highest public safety honor was given to the late Daryl Hall of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.  He was fatally shot on April 24th, 2011, while off-duty as he responded to gunfire outside a downtown nightclub.  Hall returned fire and also fatally shot the gunman.  Joseph Love, Hall’s uncle, says he’s not surprised that his nephew put himself in harm’s way to protect others.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners met for the first time since the retirement announcement of Police Chief Dan Isom.  Foremost on the boards’ agenda was establishing a process for vetting and interviewing potential candidates for chief.

Commissioner Richard Gray says the board plans to take a number of steps, similar to those taken when hiring a corporate CEO.  Including such things as a psychological examination to determine leadership skills, looking at old tax returns, and also engaging the public.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department says a month of intensive patrols in "hot spots" throughout the city was a major success.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom announced on Monday that he will be stepping down as chief by the end of the year.  Isom will join the faculty of the Department of Criminology at the University of Missouri—St. Louis.

Isom, 45, took over as chief four years ago following the resignation of Joe Mokwa, who was linked to an illegal tow-lot scandal.

Speaking on UMSL’s campus, Isom said it was hard to move on after 24 years in the department, but the opportunity to teach at his alma mater was too good to ignore.

Activist Groups Rally Against Local Control

Sep 27, 2012
St. Louis Public Radio | File Photo

Proposition A, the state ballot measure to hand control of the St. Louis Police Department back to the city has come under fire from local activists.

A coalition of groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and NAACP is urging Missouri voters not to vote for Prop A on the grounds that language establishing a citizen oversight board and open access to police records has been stricken from the bill.   

Montague Simmons is a spokesman for the group.  He says they support local control, but not at the expense of accountability.

St. Louis Public Radio | File Photo

Will be updated.

A St. Louis police officer is recovering after being shot in the arm. The suspect in the shooting was captured after a manhunt of several hours.

The 30-year-old officer approached a robbery suspect at 1:30 a.m. Friday on North Broadway. Police say that as the officer neared the man, the suspect pulled out a gun and opened fire. A bullet struck the officer's arm, but he was not seriously hurt.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Search ongoing for man who shot police officers overnight

St. Louis police are searching for a suspect who shot an officer in the arm. The 30-year-old officer was was not seriously injured. He returned fire and authorities aren't sure if the suspect was injured.

It happened about 1:30 a.m. Friday when the officer approached a man suspected in a recent robbery. Police say that as the officer neared the man, the suspect pulled out a gun and fired several rounds.

KC Bishop found guilty of shielding priest

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