Crestwood looks into disbanding police department -

Crestwood looks into disbanding police department

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The City of Crestwood is looking into disbanding its police department due to budgetary restrictions. (Credit: KMOV) The City of Crestwood is looking into disbanding its police department due to budgetary restrictions. (Credit: KMOV)

The City of Crestwood is exploring the possibility of disbanding its police department, and it's not a popular idea among people who live there.

Although the city wants to keep the police department, they also have to work within their budget.

Allison Schmidt has been a resident of Crestwood for 13 years. She says she likes the idea that it has its own department.

“I've had good experiences with our Crestwood Police Department would support keeping it local,” Schmidt said.

Residents News 4 spoke with say they like the idea of having officers they know and that know them.

“I have a relationship with my police officers, know my cars, they know my family and each and every one that lives on the block they monitor,” Gale Davis, Crestwood resident, said.

But the days of the Crestwood Court being a cash cow are long gone. The former shopping center is being developed again but the revenue it will bring in won't replace what's been lost.

It was one of the reasons Crestwood was able to keep its taxes at one of the lowest rates in the county. Last fall, the city started looking at its budget and is now toying with the idea of contracting with the St. Louis County Police Department to patrol the streets.

The county plan would cost $1.7 million a year but would have one fewer officer on patrol.

“You lose a certain amount when you eliminate services you control because all of a sudden your costs are no longer controllable,” Mayor Gregg Roby said. “Someone else is dictating to you what you're going to pay for the various services you receive.”

Crestwood has been surveying its residents to get their input.

“Overwhelmingly the majority of people want to keep police department,” Roby said.

Roby says the plan is certainly in the beginning stages and there will be other opportunities for the public to weigh in.

If the city does decide to disband its police department it will look at possibly contracting with Kirkwood or Webster Groves although the city hasn't reached out to those departments yet.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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