The report of the Ferguson Commission again pointed out how 60 police forces and 81 municipal courts that cover Missouri side of the St. Louis region create an oppressive climate that leads black motorists to be 75 percent more likely to be pulled over. Small police departments and city courts create fiefdoms where ticket revenue becomes their lifeblood as they target the most vulnerable.
The report recommended consolidation. That recommendation could easily apply to this side of the Mississippi.
As we’ve said before, Brooklyn was running a towing scam and East St. Louis may have been. Small departments are notorious for low pay, and some of the cops who take those low-pay jobs are not the folks you want making decisions about the use of deadly force.
The litany of corrupt cops, while drugs and violent crime flourish, is the strongest argument for consolidation. Better training, oversight and quality of officers could be the future if we consolidate cops and courts.
Taxpayers win, criminals lose and fewer motorists need fear being pulled over for DWB.