Mayor Jones signs bill aimed and improving trust between police, community

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 12:04 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2022 at 2:36 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones signed a bill Wednesday aimed at improving trust between police and the community.

Board Bill 47 creates the Division of Civilian Oversight, which will be an independent agency where civilians will investigate police misconduct and force incidents and initiate the disciplinary process. The Division will review complaints filed either online or in-person and have subpoena power to all legally permissible information and access to city jails to investigate complaints.

“There is no real public safety without public involvement in the incidents that directly impact them, as cooperation between community and law enforcement is essential,” said Public Safety Director Dr. Dan Isom. “This independent oversight division will bring help our public safety divisions win and retain trust.”

To be appointed to the division by Mayor Jones, individuals must apply and be approved by the public safety and Board of Aldermen. The Division will be led by Commissioner of the Civilian Oversight Board Matthew Brummund.

The Ethical Society of Police released a statement after Jones signed the bill stating they are opposed to the bill but understand the need for a civilian oversight board. The full statement reads:

“Today, the City of St. Louis Board Bill 47 was signed. Though ESOP along with the other two labor unions opposed the bill, we understand the need for a civilian oversight board.

We were never brought to the table to provide insight for the bill, which was written too broadly. We’ve had discussions with the other two labor unions and are in agreement that there needs to be fair representation in ammending [sic] the bill. ESOP is concerned that, if it is not implemented carefully, good officers could be targeted by persons with a hidden agenda against law enforcement.”

Mayor Jones tweeted that their claims of never being “brought to the table” are “not true.” In response, she wrote, “That’s not true. We’ve been talking about this bill for nearly a year. Ald. Clark Hubbard had 3 hearings and you didn’t show up and testify. I thought your organization stood for holding bad actors accountable?”