ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – To close or to consolidate, that is the question.
A decision on what to do with four troubled Metro East Police Departments is coming this month.
The question surfaced again when state legislation was passed to create the Metro East Police District Commission with the goal of improving the departments and the safety of residents.
The Commission has already made changes to the departments in East St. Louis, Brooklyn, Alorton and Washington.
Commission Chair Calvin Dye Sr. says the Department of Justice came up with three options after examining the departments last year: Strategic improvements, shutting them down and starting over or shared service & accountability.
“An example would be like you can use only one jail facility which would save a substantial amount of money,” Dye says.
He says the least likely option is regionalization or closing the departments, calling it the most expensive.
“No one has any money right now and that’s one of the things that we’re trying to do,” Dye says. “Get in the position to apply for federal assistance.”
The community aired their concerns at a recent town hall meeting. Dye says they’ll take two weeks to decide which option to implement.
The Police Commission Act, which went into effect in January 2013, states that any police department that does not adopt any regulation of the commission is not eligible to receive funding from them.
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