Example Where Fragmentation Hurts Law Enforcement and Public Safety

Just wanted to provide an example in law enforcement where our fragmented government makes us less safe, and makes it easy for criminals to evade arrest and prosecution.  

My sister had her car stolen while she was airing up her tires at a service station on Chambers Road (in St. Louis County police jurisdiction) close to the school district office where she works.  Her purse and phone were also stolen with the vehicle.  

We used "find my iPhone" to track her phone to a location nearby (a residence in City of St. Louis).  

We contacted SLMPD with this information, hoping to get them to intervene and go to that location.  They explained that because the crime occurred in St. Louis County (not their jurisdiction), that we needed to contact St. Louis County Police.

We contacted St. Louis County Police.  They explained that since the phone was traced to St. Louis City, we needed to contact SLMPD.  

So we have no action, because of these needless artificial boundaries.  And criminals take advantage of this situation every day in our metro area. 

So not only is there tremendous expense operating all these separate police departments, their every day mission of law enforcement is hindered by all these artificial boundaries to progress.

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    commented on Example Where Fragmentation Hurts Law Enforcement and Public Safety 2016-08-18 17:31:06 -0500
    For the last three years, there has been much talk about consolidating police departments, particularly into one giant police agency. However, to the best of my knowledge, and I follow these conversations, no one has even suggested a feasibility study. Perhaps because it would be expensive and no one is ready to take on that challenge.

    Such a large consolidation, which would be a bigger challenge than any of the offered models of Indianapolis, Nashville, or Memphis. There is simply no precedent for this or guide.

    St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is 1300 commissioned officers alone, St. Louis County another 800, and that is even before considering municipal officers, which would be at least 1000 more.

    Understand that affluent communities will not relinquish control of their police departments because their affluence allows them to attract highly qualified individuals who have higher education and impeccable backgrounds. These communities offer benefit packages that give them the right to be, for lack of better word, discriminatory.

    They simply will not trade the service levels they receive for anything watered down that large scale consolidation would bring. Large scale consolidation cannot guarantee that officers would receive better pay and benefit than the affluent communities that just disbanded their agencies, nor could it guarantee they even have the education level. Why is education important? Because studies have shown that educated officers use force less and receive less complaints, both dire drains on city coffers and the bane of liability insurers. Further, it cannot guarantee that citizens would have the same high visibility patrol and interaction that is one the hallmarks of well run police departments. Thus consolidation would not make sense for affluent areas.

    There are places that are open to consolidation, others not at all and never will be. Rather than trying to offer dubious financial benefit to cities that do not suffer from economic malady, the attention should be given to those cities that could truly benefit from such plan. However, they must be counseled and courted, any aggressive moves without such will be met with stiff resistance.