Laundry list of changes to Crestwood’s Police Code fails to win approval

By EVAN YOUNG

A laundry list of changes to Crestwood’s police code failed to win aldermen’s approval last week.

The Board of Aldermen deadlocked 3-3 July 28 on the second reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 20 of the city’s municipal code.

Ward 1 Aldermen Mimi Duncan and Darryl Wallach and Ward 4 Alderman Deborah Beezley voted in favor of the ordinance; Ward 2 Alderman Jeff Schlink, Ward 3 Alder-man Paul Duchild and Ward 4 Alderman John Foote were opposed. Ward 2 Alderman Chris Pickel and Ward 3 Alderman Jerry Miguel were absent.

Mayor Roy Robinson attempted to break the tie by casting a fourth vote in favor of the bill, but City Attorney Rob Golterman informed him ordinances require at least five affirmative votes to be approved, according to the City Charter.

As presented, the ordinance contained several police code amendments recommended by the city’s Police Board, which is comprised of volunteer residents who serve in an advisory capacity.

Some of those recommended amendments were:

• Modify Police Board members’ terms to run concurrently with the mayor’s term.

• Allow the Police Board aldermanic representative to designate an alternative representative to attend meetings.

• Modify the code to read the Police Board will meet “regularly” instead of “monthly.”

• Stipulate that Police Department and police chief compensation shall be provided for within the city’s budget instead of a specific ordinance or resolution.

• Modify the police chief’s requirement to report to the Police Board and Board of Aldermen to “as requested” instead of on a “monthly” basis.

Duchild offered four amendments to the police code ordinance during the June 23 Board of Aldermen meeting.

Some of those amendments contained changes — such as keeping the Police Board meeting and police chief report frequencies at “monthly” — that completely reversed the Police Board’s recommendations.

Aldermen didn’t approve the majority of Duchild’s amendments.

At one point during that meeting, Pickel said altering the Police Board’s recommendations was an “insult” to that group. Foote later accused aldermen of trying to run the Police Board “down to the ‘nth’ detail.”

Shortly before the second reading vote last week, Duchild expressed his concern over the ordinance as proposed, but said he wouldn’t reintroduce his previous amendments.

However, Duchild encouraged aldermen to at least consider retaining the Police Board’s monthly meeting requirements to be consistent with the Fire Board and Park Board meeting provisions.

“One of the reasons the city was incorporated was fire and police protection, and one of the purposes of the committee is the oversight of the Police Department by the citizens, which is sort of the whole backbone of a citizen-run government,” Duchild said.