For many years, the Ethical Society of Police (ESOP) has called out structural and blatant acts of racism and corruption within the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD). Current policy is what enables chronic issues with hiring, biased promotions, unfair and inequitable discipline, lack of accountability, and corruption.
The opportunity to make the most direct and substantive policy change comes every three years when the St. Louis Police Officers Association (SLPOA) negotiates the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between SLMPD and the City of St. Louis. The CBA dictates everything from officer hiring and promotions to discipline, and it is being negotiated now.
ESOP supports the recommendations presented today by the Coalition Against Police Crimes and Representation (CAPCR), many of which mirror the recommendations outlined in our comprehensive 2020 Report on the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
- Ending seniority considerations, which have historically led to racial bias.
- Joint investigations by the Director of Personnel and the Internal Affairs Division of the SLMPD for more balanced investigations and accountability. Police should not be exclusively policing themselves.
- Allowing public input on CBA negotiations. The community deserves to know what is being debated and be heard!
Furthermore, we believe that ESOP and our more than 300 members, who are almost exclusively minority officers, should have equal access to benefits and information in relation to SLPOA. A vote should be called to make ESOP a joint collective bargaining agent so that we can better represent our members and advocate for racial fairness.
America is grappling with police reform and what that looks like in various communities. This is the moment to change policies that have led to unparalleled harm on civilian and uniformed minorities in St. Louis. CAPCR recommendations and those recommendations we outlined in our 2020 Report are how we start to create real reform.
The Ethical Society of Police – ESOP