Sgt. Heather Taylor, president of the Ethical Society of Police Officers, spoke at a community meeting Thursday night and began things by coming right to the point.
“We’re asking now that Chief Dotson resign immediately,” she said.
For his part, Chief Dotson said he is not resigning.
Sgt. Taylor discussed racial problems on the police force.
“We feel his policies and practices have divided our police department and the community as well,” she said.
The report was apparently leaked to a New York newspaper where it and Chief Sam Dotson became the talk of the town.
“This isn’t about creating real change, this is about making a splash,” Dotson said.
The evaluation by ESOP contains statistics showing that the department doesn’t represent the city when it comes to race. However, the chief said St. Louis has one of the most minority employee driven agencies around.
“About a third of our commissioned force are African-Americans,” he said. “If you look at St. Louis County, if you look at the Highway Patrol, if you look at Kansas City, nobody come close to where we are.”
Taylor said that doesn’t tell the whole story.
“He’s promoted 15 white sergeants, no African-Americans. When you see that, that will lower morale,” she said.
Dotson said he’s asked the ESOP for ways he can improve the promotion process but has not yet heard back from them.
“We’ve met with him with the NAACP. We’ve met with him and community activists. We’ve met alone with him and we’re still having the same problems,” Taylor said.
Chief Dotson said he has two officers devoted to recruiting minorities full-time. He admitted there are problems recruiting officers. The chief said policing isn’t viewed as a job that as many people want anymore and the pay isn’t that great, especially when the department has to compete with private businesses like Boeing and Monsanto for the same workers.