For Comments Contact: Joe Steiger at 314.420.0703 or Jeff Roorda at 314.420.3861
St. Louis Police Officers Association Will Sue Over Promotional Process
St. Louis, Missouri (September 30, 2015) – The St. Louis Police Officers Association lamented what it called "illegal and misguided" promotions announced by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department today. The department announced the promotion of four sergeants; six lieutenants; five captains; three majors; and, one lieutenant colonel.
Association president Joe Steiger said, "these are each well-qualified, exemplary law enforcement professionals who were promoted today but we have laws governing the promotional process that simply were not followed. Perhaps even more alarming, is the sheer number of people who were promoted given this city's violent crime crisis and drastic manpower shortages."
According to the Association, the department is currently 82 officers below its authorized staffing level of 1,302 sworn officers. Steiger continued, "at a time when horrendous acts of violence are a daily occurrence, we need more officers on the street and fewer sitting behind a desk. The taxpayers of the City of St. Louis were promised when the department went through redistricting that command positions would be eliminated, police districts would be consolidated and more officers would be on the streets patrolling their crime-plagued neighborhoods. That's not what's happening."
Under a ballot initiative passed overwhelmingly by voters in Missouri in November 2012, promotional processes were to remain unchanged according to Steiger and Association general counsel Neil Bruntrager, but that isn't the case. "The enabling statute ratified by the people of Missouri gives the city clear direction regarding its post-local control police promotional processes but the city has chosen to ignore those. We'll see what a judge has to say about that," Bruntrager said foreshadowing legal action by the Association.
Lieutenants and Captains were promoted based on an eligibility list that was generated prior to local control so those promotions wouldn't be the subject of litigation or at least not until those eligibility lists expired.
Steiger called today's developments "disappointing and another example of broken promises to citizens and police officers beleaguered by crime."
St. Louis, Missouri (August 22, 2015) – The St. Louis Police Officers Association, the Union that represents over 1,100 police officers employed by the City of St. Louis, responded to a statement released yesterday by St. Louis Circuit Attorney, Jennifer Joyce. Joyce, flanked by St. Louis NAACP President Adolphus Pruitt, announced Friday that she planned to launch an unprecedented, separate investigation of the shooting of armed gunman Mansur Ball-Bey by two St. Louis Police Officers because of growing “public concerns”. She did not elaborate on what those concerns were or what segment of the population was voicing those concerns.SLPOA President Joe Steiger had this to say:
“Jennifer Joyce’s announcement is a discredit to the members of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, and specifically the professional investigators assigned to the Force Investigative Unit (FIU).These men and women are experienced, uncompromising investigators who have been trained by experts all over the country to investigate critical incidents involving police officers.It is one of the most progressive units of its kind.Joyce’s investigation, announced only two days after the incident, indicates a rush to judgment without any knowledge of the facts and evidence and needlessly erodes the public trust in FIU and all of the officers of the SLMPD.
“The involved officers welcome an impartial investigation in which the sole purpose is to determine and report the facts of the incident.These officers courageously performed their duties in accordance with their training and the law, they have nothing to hide.Joyce’s announcement, while flanked by members of the NAACP, suggests this investigation is motivated by political appeasement and not the pursuit of truth and justice.We have seen political prosecutions of police officers involved in critical incidents in other parts of the country and fear that this is a step in that direction.
“Politicians like Jennifer Joyce have been expressing concern over the gun violence that plague’s our city.She has postured herself as being tough on criminals who illegally carry and use guns and has campaigned for the creation of a gun docket in the Circuit Court to prosecute people like Mansur Ball-Bey.Taking criminals and guns off the street requires self initiated police work.It requires motivated officers like the officers in this incident who executed a search warrant at a residence known to house guns, drugs and violent felons.This is highly dangerous work, the kind of work that you would think a prosecutor who touts herself as being tough on gun crime would appreciate.Apparently, that is not the case.”
During a speech on the U.S. Senate floor on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) recognized National Police Week and paid tribute to law enforcement officers across the nation, including Deputy Sheriff Matthew Chism of Stockton, Mo. and Officer Eddie Johnson, Jr. of Alton, Mo., who were tragically killed in the line of duty last year.