Friday, April 13, 2012

Dellwood turns policing over to St. Louis County

After months of stalemate, the Board of Aldermen finally voted to dissolve the city's embattled police department. The move was the first official action of the newly constituted board, which gained three new members in the April 3 elections. The three were sworn in at the beginning of the meeting with James Lovings, the only incumbent to win re-election last week.

St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch said his officers would officially take over policing at midnight, when Dellwood's four remaining officers would end their shifts — and their employment with the city.

Fitch said shifts will operate in 10-hour intervals, allowing for overlap and a larger police presence during hours where a need was recognized. The department will operate out of the Dellwood police offices, which occupy half of the City Hall building on Chambers Road.

In November, city officials began discussions with the county about contracting for police services. More than 100 people showed up to a meeting on Nov. 27 to support the Dellwood officers after word spread of the talks with the county.

Thursday night's vote was 5-3 in favor of the county, with Bober, Fitzwalter and Lovings voting against shifting police services to the county.

"We knew it was coming," Lovings said. "It is what it is. Now, we have other issues to deal with."
Ex-Chief Haunold stood with several supporters and former Dellwood police officers in the back of council chambers to watch the vote. He declined to comment, citing the advice of his attorney.
The board also voted to sell most of its police equipment to St. Louis County police.

The board will now get to other city business held up because of the police department issue, including passing a budget for the current fiscal year.

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:27 AM

    Dellwood made the right decision.
    When elected leadership can not function, it is time to shut it down. Dellwood itself should consider disolving and returning to the county.
    Plenty of examples of poor leaderhsip, ie: Kincloch, Berkely, Wellston, St George, Jennings, etc.
    When local leadership can not answer the bell, time to throw in the towel.