After careful analysis of the audit performed by Missouri State Auditor Susan Montee (published November 2009), the St. Louis Police Officers Association (SLPOA) wishes to acknowledge the diligent efforts of the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners (The Board). Due to the proactive nature of Chief Isom and The Board, many of the deficiencies were addressed and rectified in a proactive manner, prior to the completion and publication of the audit. The SLPOA supports these efforts of Chief Isom and The Board, and believes they are an indication of their dedication to improve the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Even Mayor Slay acknowledged that many of the deficiencies uncovered by the audit have already been corrected by Chief Isom and The Board.
Mayor Slay is using the state audit as an excuse to play politics with the administration of the Police Department and the citizens of St. Louis. He has called for taking control away from the citizen appointed Board. The state audit pertaining to the City’s Department of Public Safety reported that there were "inadequate or non-existent oversight and safeguards," along with potential loss of City revenue, theft, over expenditures and hoarding of released prisoner's monies.
Director, Charles Bryson, managed only twelve employees prior to Mayor Slay appointing him as Director of the Department of Public Safety. Now Bryson manages the largest department in St. Louis with 1,500 employees.
The second person in charge at Lambert Airport is Mayor Slay's brother. The audit of Lambert Airport shows mismanagement and little accountability of the airport's finances.
The same is true of the Streets Department though it has a much smaller budget. Frankly, the audits of the City’s Departments demonstrate the Mayor's and the City's inability to handle its current responsibilities, much less assume new ones.
During the last eight years, the Mayor has been the only constant member of The Board; every other Board member has served a maximum of four years. The Mayor, though now criticizing the previous administration, acted as a vocal advocate in support of the previous administration in a public statement as recently as August of 2007. The deficiencies uncovered by the audit, all during the Mayor’s tenure on The Board, became standard practice with the Mayor’s knowledge.
The most important issue here is having the best police department possible for the citizens of St. Louis City. One of the key ingredients in that is having a police department that is insulated from local politics. Remember, the State had to intervene and assume control of the City’s Public School System, because of the City’s inability to manage the School System in an efficient manner.
The Mayor’s repeated insinuations that the members of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department "would be more accountable", if the Department was under City control is an insult to the men and women of the Department. The citizens of the City of St. Louis deserve the top level of service from the Police Department. The best way to achieve this goal is through State control. The men and women of this Police Department already, and will always continue, to strive to perform to that level of expectation.