Alderman: Use sheriff's deputies as police officers in St. Louis -

Alderman: Use sheriff's deputies as police officers in St. Louis City

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A St. Louis Alderman is entering his name into the Sheriff’s race, wanting to use sheriff’s deputies as police officers in the city.

Joe Vaccaro, 23rd Ward Alderman, believes sheriff’s deputies can be better utilized by getting them certified and trained to become police officers.

“What I would like to see is the deputies maybe doing traffic, if we get post certified deputies,” said Vaccaro.  “I would like to see the deputies do more police work.”

Right now the main task for the 180 sheriff’s deputies in St. Louis is to transport prisoners to and from jail and provide security at courthouses. Vaccaro says having sheriff’s deputies execute traffic stops will free up time for St. Louis police officers to respond and investigate crimes.

This idea has been brought up to St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson before, and he is firmly against it.

“Why are we talking about sheriffs, let's hire more police officers,” said Chief Dotson. “Sheriff's aren't trained to do the jobs of a police officer, Sheriff's don’t have the same certifications. Let's just hire police officers, 160 would be a step in the right direction.”

Alderman Vaccaro said he’ll continue to push the idea if elected in November.

“I will either work through it here in the board of alderman in St. Louis to change the charter, or I'll go to Jefferson City to talk with lawmakers because I believe we are under utilizing that department.”

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