St. Louis police no longer supervising Lambert airport police - KMOV.com

St. Louis police no longer supervising Lambert airport police

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

St. Louis city police are pulling out of Lambert-St. Louis airport and Chief Sam Dotson is no longer in charge of supervising airport police.

That’s because in a rather sudden move, the police department has ended its agreement with Lambert.

Some people are now calling it a bureaucratic mess that could impact policing and your pocket.

Two years ago, the airport police and the city police were two completely separate police departments with their own command staff.

But with an agreement from 2014, airport and city police officials agreed that Chief Dotson and several command officers would oversee the airport police, with plans for complete merger at some point.

Now, with one fell swoop, the agreement is getting ripped up, leaving airport police in limbo on a leader.

“It's really unfair to them, it's unfair to the people they protect, the millions of people that travel that airport every year,” said Jeff Roorda with the police officers' union.

Roorda says airport police officers want to be under the city police umbrella, but now that seems much less likely.

In a letter dated Nov 13, Chief Dotson told city officials that prolonged delays in completing a full merger along with other issues made it difficult, if not impossible, for SLMPD to manage daily operations of the airport police.

On November 28, their supervision at the airport will be over.

This is a strange development as a merger was once billed as a way to increase efficiency between the departments and save taxpayer money.

News 4 asked several city officials, who said they have no major concerns for safety or on-going policing operations at the airport, but Alderman Joe Vaccaro says it's just one of those bureaucratic problems that leaves people scratching their heads.

“In my opinion this is about a power struggle, it's nonsense, they need to get along, We need to do the right thing by our citizens,” said Vaccaro.

Chief Dotson deferred to city officials’ for comment.

News 4’s Lauren Trager called a spokesperson for the airport, but he has yet to call back.

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

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