The St. Charles County Council showed its support of police in the region at its Sept. 9 council meeting by passing a resolution they hope will encourage other governing bodies and prosecutors to do the same. The resolution acknowledges that police are in high stress, highly technical jobs where everything they do is under public scrutiny.
Sponsored by: Joe Brazil, John White
Resolution No._____ A RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING AND SUPPORTING THE ST. CHARLES COUNTY POLICE AND OTHER POLICE DEPARTMENTS, SHERIFF DEPARTMENTS, AND RESPONDERS IN THE REGIONAL AREA WHEREAS, law and order in any community must be a collaboration between the citizens of that community, the police and prosecutors they employ; and WHEREAS, policing in American communities is a stressful, highly technical vocation in which officers know that their every public interaction is subject to being photographed or filmed and subject to public and media scrutiny; and WHEREAS, the public often draws conclusions regarding an officer’s actions without the appropriate awareness of the circumstances of the incident; and WHEREAS, recent studies by the Manhattan Institute and others have warned that crime will begin to rise as officers become less willing to initiate a contact with the public; and WHEREAS, police officers must have the support of their community and elected leaders to do their job effectively; and WHEREAS, in the fall of 2015, at a strategy session called by the Department of Justice with the nation’s senior law enforcement chiefs and mayors, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told Attorney General Loretta Lynch that his officers were “fetal”: “They have pulled back from the ability to interdict,” he said. “They don’t want to be a news story themselves, they don’t want their career ended early, and it’s having an impact.”; and 19-04 2 WHEREAS, “The challenge going forward,” New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton said, “is to keep it in balance so that our officers feel that as we ask them to go forward that if they, in fact, do the right thing, we will be supportive.”; and WHEREAS, increases in crime occurring as a result of police disengagement will be stemmed only by a clear message to police that when they do the right thing, they will be supported by the citizen community, police leadership, prosecutors and the elected officials of the county; and WHEREAS, according to the most recent data (2018) reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 106 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in the United States and Puerto Rico; and WHEREAS, St. Charles County is part of the larger St. Louis Region; and the St. Charles County Council wants to recognize and show support for law enforcement officers throughout the St. Louis Region. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MISSOURI, AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The County Council of St. Charles calls upon the governing bodies and prosecutors of the St. Louis Region to express their support for the police officers who are daily on their job, “doing the right thing” in supporting the safe and law-abiding citizens of their community. Section 2. The Executive Assistant to the County Council is hereby directed to provide this Resolution to the Governing Body of every municipality and political subdivision in St. Charles County and to request that such bodies pass 3 similar resolutions to ensure that every law enforcement officer in this county knows that he is supported in his efforts to deliver quality public safety services to the citizens and guest of this County.
“The world of policing has changed and continues to do so,” says Councilman Joe Brazil, District 2, who sponsored the resolution. “Citizens now can photograph and videotape every interaction they have with law enforcement and make it public. These interactions often are analyzed and dissected on social media and opinions are formed before the officer even has a chance to write a report.”
Brazil says the Council resolution is two-fold: to show support of the St. Charles County Police Department and all officers in the metropolitan area, and to urge others in the region to do the same. He says police officers must have the support of their community and elected leaders to do their job effectively.
“These are the men and women who keep us safe,” Brazil says. “They have to make split-second decisions that could save a life. If they feel like they are under a microscope, and that no one supports them, they are going to pull back. They are going to want to think longer about how to handle a situation because of the impact it could have on them personally. And that’s going to have a huge impact on safety.”
The resolution will be distributed to the governing bodies of all municipalities and political subdivisions in the metropolitan area, requesting that similar resolutions be passed, Brazil says. “Our goal is that all law enforcement officers know that they are supported in their efforts to deliver quality public safety services to citizens and visitors to our region.”