St. Louis leaders aren’t the only ones reassessing the wisdom of downsizing the city police department to mollify a loud but not necessarily representative group of far-left activists. Rising violent crime is plaguing cities across the country, and a growing number of Democratic mayors have realized that defunding the police is the opposite of what’s needed to retake control of the streets.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones scheduled an online “community listening session” for late Tuesday afternoon, fulfilling her promise to let citizens have input into the person she chooses to replace John Hayden, who will retire as police chief in February. The new chief will inherit a mountain of challenges that include understaffing, an increase in violent crime, and the growing appearance of lawlessness characterized by mass drag-racing events and downtown motorcycle rallies that openly defy police attempts to impose order. A feckless approach to prosecutions by Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner contributes to a sense of declining morale among rank-and-file officers.