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City Council Votes Down Proposed Crime Task Force

The proposal by Council member Michael Glickert and Mayor Shelley Welsch was not approved Monday.

A proposal for a citizens crime task force failed to win approval from the University City City Council Monday night. 

Councilman Michael Glickert proposed the plan along with Mayor Shelley Welsch. Glickert said while the police are doing a great job solving crimes, the community should come together to figure out how to deal with violent crimes in the area.

Councilman Terry Crow said he didn't see the need for the city to create another citizen task force.

"The police chief has what he needs and Council members Price and Sharpe have laid out a plan," he said. "We have a checkered past with focus groups."

Councilman Byron Price pointed to a crime report prepared by University City Police Chief Charles Adams in September and the city's recent decision to hire additional police officers.

"The chief and his staff have laid out what they need," he said. "Lets move forward on the action items." 

Mayor Welsch said she believed in a grass roots approach and believed a citizens task force would help the police department do its job better by educating citizens.

Read Mayor Welsch's letter to council members on the crime task force.

"We've had seven unfortunate violent crimes this year," Welsch said. "Other crime is down in University City but there is a perception out there that our city is not safe."

Council members pointed to the Police Focus Group, which meets on the last Tuesday of each month at Heman Park Community Center. Councilman Arthur Sharpe suggested holding additional meetings at various locations throughout the city.

Violent crime isn't the only concern of residents, Councilwoman Paulette Carr argued. She noted the high number of burglaries and break-ins in her ward.

The task force proposal was voted down 4-3.

George Lenard December 11, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Jeff: the lack of evidence that Carol Jackson was misquoted is duly noted. The only argument against this Task Force seems to be that it is duplicative and that the Mayor shouldn't be allowed to lead in this manner. If it is all volunteers, where is the harm in duplication? And would it really be 100% duplicative? Do the current groups actually address all the points the Mayor raised in her letter?
Jeff Hales December 11, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Come of it George, Capt. Jackson was quoted as stating only the following: "can only make my job easier". The rest of it was entirely framed by the Mayor in her editorial aimed at garnering support for her proposal. You can continue to try to litigate this all you want. You're asking questions to which there is no answer because the proposal for the task force was vague in its purpose and lacked that specific "charge" you spoke of. If the purpose is not clearly defined, and we already have our monthly citizen/police focus groups, the question is not whether there is harm in duplication, but rather why is there a need for it - beyond the apparent shameless political self-promotion through her editorials on this media outlet. Again, long on image, short on substance. Where's the beef?
George Lenard December 11, 2012 at 09:06 PM
I guess you can't read, Jeff. Following that quote are specific bullets, with a strong implication they represent "possible points/focus areas for a citizens’ group which, if implemented, Captain Jackson said 'can only make my job easier.'” including: "With increased resident input/involvement, Captain Jackson feels she/we can be successful in attracting more people to get involved in these programs. Captain Jackson said she welcomes more ideas on how to get people to “buy-in”. NOTE: In Captain Jackson’s opinion she should be doing home security audits constantly, but she is not"; "Per Captain Jackson, as part of this effort we can help residents understand how we are already implementing the COPS approach to policing, i.e. Community Oriented Policing Strategy"; and "Captain Jackson strongly recommends that when a task force is established that 'new' people be brought into the process, that we not already appoint the already-active 'regulars.' She believes we will benefit by hearing new voices in this discussion." Where's your beef, Jeff? You still haven't provided a shred of evidence anything the Mayor said is false. Calling it "shameless political self-promotion" "long on image, short on substance" is nonsense. It reads to all but the most obstinately and reflexively anti-Mayor citizen as an earnest effort at community improvement, responsive to a real issue.
Jeff Hales December 11, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Yes, George, I can't read. Your thoughtfulness is only exceeded by your charm.
George Lenard December 11, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Thanks for the compliment, Jeff. I have been rewarded for thoughtfulness my whole life, as a student and a professional; charm I tend to be less sure of. So I appreciate the contribution to my self esteem. If my charm exceeds my thoughtfulness, it's pretty good...

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