BALLWIN (KMOV.com) - St. Louis County Police took over security detail in Ferguson earlier this month but is it coming at a cost of safety in other parts of the county?
Drivers in parts of St. Louis County may have noticed fewer officers on the roads and News4 learning St. Louis County Police have issued only a fraction of traffic tickets in the last few months compared to years past.
A spokesperson for the department said officers with the department’s Highway Safety Unit specifically charged with issuing traffic tickets are often the first to be deployed to Ferguson.
According to police statistics, from August to October in 2012 they gave out 8391 moving violation citations. In 2013, they issued 7892. In 2014, from August through September 2097.
“Wow, I’m surprised,” said one St. Louis County resident.
“I’m glad I’m not getting a speeding ticket but it concerns me that were not getting the services we need from our police department,” said a resident named Terri.
We asked police if other parts of the county were being neglected because of events in Ferguson.
“While traffic ticket numbers are down, all crimes are being enforced just as they have prior to August,” explained spokesperson Brian Schellman.
Schellman said the man power of the department remains the same throughout all parts of the county, officers from the department’s special operations units, which include the Highway Safety Unit, are being used in Ferguson along with officers from other precincts.
“I understand they need to put their man power where the need is, maybe right now the need is elsewhere,” explained resident Bill Tretter.
Schellman said officers are working overtime to ensure both Ferguson and the county are covered.
“There is a responsibility to every citizen we serve,” said Schellman. “The manpower in all parts of the county that we patrol is being filled as normal. Extra officers are responding to the Ferguson detail, but this does not mean that each precinct or contract municipality we patrol has lessened because of the Ferguson detail.”