2 min read
Posted on 05.19.10
  • 2 min read
  • Posted on 05.19.10

"Actions speak louder than words" is a saying whose truth was borne out at this morning's meeting of the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners. During the Missouri General Assembly's most recent session, Gov. Jay Nixon merely whispered his opposition to local control of the St. Louis Police Department, leaving some City residents wondering where the good governor stood on the issue. Mr. Nixon answered that question loudly today. With the governor enjoying a majority on the Police Board for the first time this morning, his appointees wasted no time in voting to replace veteran Board President Todd Epsten, an outspoken reformer, with Bettye Battle-Turner, a commissioner whose short tenure has already been punctuated by her need to abstain from voting on some matters affecting a relative employed by the Department. Although this morning's action was unusual for its speed, it is the governor's legal right. He, not you, controls the police board, which is the governing body of the Department. The St. Louis Police Board is now, without any doubt, his. As you know, I believe the people of St. Louis, not the governor, should make the decisions about our police department. After all, we pay the taxes. But, that is not what state law says. So, until the law changes, we have to live with it. Today's action has cost us Mr. Epsten's continued service as a commissioner. That is a loss for the Department. He has been a great commissioner. As for me, I will continue to work with the governor and the Board; and, on day to day matters, closely and directly with Chief Dan Isom to keep our neighborhoods safe.