Public Safety Director says we need to fix things in the St. Louis police department

ST. LOUIS – Crime concerns were on the minds of many people in the City of St. Louis Tuesday.

At least five people have been killed in the last few days including two who were gunned down Tuesday morning in south city.

Tonight, dozens gathered to speak out about the violence during the search for the next police chief at a Citizens Advisory Committee public meeting in O’ Fallon Park.

It was also where the city’s new Public Safety Director, Judge Jimmie Edwards met with citizens for the first time.

“We have to fix some things in that police department,” said Edwards speaking to the crowd, “I believe we fix those things by education. We want restraint, we want understanding and we want fairness and equitable policing in our city.”

Several speakers said they want a police chief who would strengthen community and police relations.

“Someone who understands us, understands the problems in this City and understands the problem with the police,” said Tricia Harris who brought her young son to the meeting.

Some speakers said that they want a police chief who has lived or still lives in areas that are run down, someone who has experience or has seen first-hand crime that continues to plague their communities.

“I just want someone who looks like me,” said Tory Russell, “so we want someone who grew up poor and still lives right at that borderline and looks like me and understands ‘blackness.’ “

Another CAC meeting is scheduled for some time in November.