DELLWOOD (KMOX) – This north St. Louis County’s town’s four month-old aldermanic soap opera is now history — along with its police department.
Aldermen voted, 5-to-3, Thursday to delete the department, choosing instead to pay St. Louis County for the service.
James Lovings led a four-month-long boycott of board meetings, in a successful effort to prevent the body from meeting and taking on the outsourcing issue. A budget was also unable to be passed for the new year. After Thursday’s vote to approve, Lovings almost seemed to question the mission of city government now.
“Why do we need eight members of a board to run a recreational center and a street department now? That’s all we’re going to be in change of at this point,” he said.
After the meeting, Lovings told KMOX he wasn’t specifically referring to dissolution of the city, although he acknowledged it as an issue which could eventually come up.
County police officially took control of the department at midnight.
Four officers lost their jobs, although another eight have already been hired by St. Louis County.
“Now the real work begins. Now we have to show and prove to the citizens that we can do the job. We’ve been through this before,” County Police Chief Tim Fitch said, referring to ten departments that he’s overseen county take-overs of.
Earlier in the week, Fitch told KMOX that a municipality of about 15,000 residents was thinking about going down the same road. He said those city leaders very well could’ve been watching and waiting for the Dellwood situation to resolve itself.
“This certainly was one that they were watching, and there could be decisions made because of this,” said Fitch.
Dellwood aldermen also approved the sale of most of the police department’s equipment, including cruisers and walkie talkies, to St. Louis County for about $86,000.