On 10/29/2020 and 10/31/2020, the St. Louis Police Officers Association (SLPOA) and an SLPOA Board Member/Detective with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) sent political messages using SLMPD email advising SLPOA Members of whom to vote for in the upcoming election on November 3, 2020.
The SLPOA’s actions blatantly violated police policy, using the SLMPD email system for political gain. SLMPD officers are not allowed to use SLMPD emails to support candidates in upcoming elections.
The SLPOA email violated SLMPD Special Order 9-06 Section C – Use/Misuse of Department Computer System, “Promotion of political or religious positions, opinions or actions.”
Their actions further violated Administrative Regulation 150, Section IV-G, which advises, “Employees shall not post comments or content about political activity, a political party, or a candidate in a partisan election. Further, employees shall not link the social media accounts of said party or candidate to any City website or social media account.”
The SLPOA continues to show their disrespect of policy and procedures with their disregard for rules that hold us as officers accountable. Be advised, the SLPOA and ESOP have mutual members and many of those members have stated they felt pressured to vote a certain way and disrespected by the blanket email sent to their department email addresses.
We understand political endorsements, as an organization that has endorsed candidates; however, SLMPD email should never be used in this manner.
We requested an investigation into the misuse of the email system. One of our recommendations is to have all emails sent to SLMPD by their board to be reviewed by their command before being disseminated. Another recommendation is to have the SLPOA emails restricted.
Ethical Society of Police
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ABOUT THE ETHICAL SOCIETY OF POLICE
The Ethical Society of Police (ESOP) is an association of police officers, park rangers, and civilians that advocates for racial and gender equity in the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and St. Louis County Police Department. ESOP was founded in 1972 to address racial biases within law enforcement. ESOP also works to improve community/police relations, develop policies and programs to reduce crime, elevate the status of minority civilians and police officers, encourage greater minority employment by law enforcement agencies, and increase professionalism in law enforcement. Membership is open to all races and includes more than 300 law enforcement professionals employed by the City and County of St. Louis. For details, call (314) 690-3565, email [email protected] or visit www.esopstl.org.