In response, each of the officers volunteered to work a twelve hour shift without pay every week just to make sure the community has at least one cop on duty around the clock. Mayor Keith Conway insists the cuts were needed and will not put public safety at risk.
Kinloch has a rich history, but many people blame its recent demise on the airport expansion. In the 1980s, Lambert Airport purchased most of the city's private homes. Three out of four Kinloch residents moved out of town. The 2000 census estimated there were only 449 people living in Kinloch. The lost residents and tax revenue, but it gained a reputation as a haven for gangs and violent crime, which makes the recent cuts harder for the officers, and many residents to accept.
Kinloch's mayor hopes new development in the area will help turn things around. The city, along with St. Louis County, the City of St. Louis, Berkeley and Ferguson are all part of a massive redevelopment plan that is expected to create thousands of jobs and build office and retail space throughout the area. NorthPark Partners, the project developer, plan to donate a new civic center to Kinloch.
So, there is potential for a rebirth of Kinloch, at least a partial rejuvination. But, for now, the small pocket of poverty is showing signs that its problems are getting worse.