Survey: St. Louis Residents Don’t Trust City to Run Police Dept.

Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  “And the survey says”…that a vast majority of St. Louis residents questioned in a telephone poll oppose turning control of the police department back over to the city.

At least according to a survey commissioned in part by the St. Louis Police Officers Association.

Union spokesman Ed Clark says the phone survey of 274 city residents by “Opinions Incorporated” shows that most respondents think local government is too big and disorganized to effectively run day-to-day operations of city police.

“We like the set-up as it is now,” Clark said during a midday press conference Wednesday.  “This Board of Police Commissioners is an insulating barrier between us and local politicians.”

Phone surveys were conducted in late November through mid-December with a range of plus-or-minus 5%.

These were the questions and results reported by “Opinions Incorporated”:

1.  “Wichita and Tampa are the same size as the city of St. Louis.  Wichita has a mayor and six city council members, while Tampa has a mayor and seven city council members.  Meanwhile, St. Louis has 39 paid, elected politicians.  Do you feel that the city of St. Louis should reduce the number of elected officials?”

YES – 236 (86.1%)
NO – 32 (11.7%)
UNSPECIFIED – 6 (2.2%)

2.  “In 2008, city of St. Louis voters passed a tax increase to fund public safety increases in police and fire departments.  Since then city politicians have cut police and fire department funding while increasing their own salaries.  Do you trust St. Louis politicians to properly manage the police department?”

YES – 33 (12.0%)
NO – 240 (87.6%)
UNSPECIFIED – 1 (0.4%)

3.  “The government of the city of St. Louis hasn’t changed in almost 100 years, since the Charter of 1914.  At that time St. Louis was twice the size it is today.  City residents may change the city’s charter.  Do you feel that the charter should be changed to cut the number of paid elected officials?”

YES – 234 (85.4%)
NO – 36 (13.1%)
UNSPECIFIED – 4 (1.5%)

The results fly in the face of “Proposition L” on last November’s ballot in which more than two-thirds of voters agreed that control of the police department should be returned to the city,  but Clark contends that the ballot item was too vague.

Copyright KMOX Radio

  • Cliff Johnson

    Push Polling used to try and ignore what the voters clearly said? Weak effort police. Remember who you work for, the people.

  • this has to happen before a city county merger

    it’s about time somebody figured out the city had about 20 Aldermen too many and are the main reason the rest of us dont trust the inept city lesders who have problems budgeting for even the simplest of needs like Police & Fire protection.

  • Downsizing will be necesary for the city

    if it’s true that same size populated cities are operating sucessfully with only a fraction of our councilmen (or aldermen) then this is very disturbing & we seriously need to consider downsizing St Louis city government immediately.

  • local control poll

    go to Mayor Slays blogsite @ and see HIS own poll results for this week regarding local control under the thread-poll “Police reunion tour”

    the results are intresting as they also reflect some suprisingly similar data to the police unions poll totals noted in the above story

  • Cliff Johnson

    Mayor Slay poll? The one the police bombarded to help justify their blatant disregard for the people of St. Louis. No thank you.

  • Johnnie250

    What did the people actually say? That they agree with a biased ballot question based in theory. Who wouldn’t. Here are the same voters saying we don’t believe in our broken city government, and we don’t want them running a police department if they can manage things like a pound or refuse department.

  • agree it's time to cut the fat

    Whether we cut fire & police or not, whether local control happens or not, the problem is the numerous aldermen with thier own personal agendas pulling the city in 30 something different directions, it’s why the county wants nothing to do with a merger & why the police fear these politicians tearing thier department up under local control, it’s happened before, local control failed in Kansas City a few years back and KCPD control had to be returned to the state due to mismanagement.
    It is finally time we took a long hard look at why we as a shrinking city should accept our place that we are not a cultural hub for the elitists, nor do be have any serious industry here anymore, our property values are down, and costs are dramatically higher but yet we STILL have 20 more aldermen than we need paid nearly $35-40,000 annuallyfor just a couple meetings a month representing less than a half a million when much larger cities use only a fraction of aldermen to represent 10 times the population ours do-lets just eliminate half of those positions at least.

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