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Krewson Announces Outside Review Of St. Louis Police Department

Mayor Lyda Krewson touts the city's Criminal Justice Coordinating Council on July 17, 2019 with Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards and Police Chief John Hayden. Hayden will be a member of the council.
File photo | Alexis Moore | St. Louis Public Radio
Mayor Lyda Krewson, Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards and police Chief John Hayden, shown here in 2019, all support an outside review of the police department that Krewson announced today.

The St. Louis Police Department will get a third-party review of its policies and practices.

Mayor Lyda Krewson announced Wednesday that former Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., police Chief Charles Ramsey will lead the study, the cost of which will be covered by the Regional Business Council and Civic Progress. St. Louis County announced a similar review of its police department on Monday.

“This review is about best policies and best practices,” Krewson said during a regularly scheduled Facebook Live session. “It’s also about reducing gun violence. It’s about recruiting. It’s about training. It’s about de-escalation. It’s about acknowledging that Black lives matter, but it’s also about acknowledging that in St. Louis, far too many Black lives are lost to violence.”

Krewson had previously pledged a review of the department’s use of force policies, which was a call to action from the Obama Foundation. That will be rolled into the broader outside study, although exactly what Ramsey will review was not immediately available.

Private companies routinely bring in outside experts when they are dealing with a crisis, Krewson said.

“The government very rarely has the chance to do that,” she said. “Thanks today to Civic Progress companies and RBC companies, St. Louis is going to have the chance to have this really top-notch review without any costs to taxpayers. Honestly, I don’t think we’ve ever had this kind of an opportunity before, and we’ve probably never needed it as much.”

The study will begin in a few weeks and is likely to take a couple of months to complete.

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Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.