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St. Louis County police union head calls for resignation of Metro security chief

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - The St. Louis County Police Association is calling for Metro's head of public safety to resign.

Joe Patteron, the president of the association, called a recent column by St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist one-sided.

Patterson said believes the Metro’s public safety director was behind the videos being made public in an attempt by Metro to control its own police department. Patterson said Chief Jon Belmar met with Metro Public Safety Director Richard Zott this month, but Zott never mentioned any issues with officers covering up cameras.

“(Zott) cares nothing about public safety of the MetroLink riders or the ridership,” said Patterson. “He cares nothing about the safety of the police officer. He cares about political power and political gain.”

Metro officials released a statement expressing disappointment that, “This focus has shifted away from the main topic-keeping the transit riding public safe. In May 2017, we received a request from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for records under Missouri Sunshine Law. We complied with that request. Our priority continues to be the safety of our passengers and our employees. The transit riders and the entire community expect not less.”

Patterson said his officers are disappointed that a handful of images taken from a three-year period could taint the entire department.

“There’s no allegations of crimes going on while those cameras were covered. This has been over sensationalized,” Patterson said.

Patterson said he plans on speaking at Tuesday night's St. Louis County Council meeting where the issue is expected to be discussed.

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