We are interested in forming a residents’ group to help the Ferguson Police Department.
The residents of Ferguson very strongly support the continuation of an independent Ferguson Police Department and appreciate the work the Department does. Unfortunately, our department is under tremendous stress right now, for a range of different reasons. Residents of Ferguson can’t take on the responsibilities of policing, however we may be able to do things that help take some of the pressure off the police, help public safety and hopefully let our officers know how much we appreciate them.
The support group would explore different initiatives, most involving citizen participation, that would help address specific challenges facing our city. The goal would be to get citizens involved in things that make our officers’ jobs easier and hopefully our city safer. The resident engagement would also strengthen the bond between the residents and the Department.
Following are some of the possible initiatives that the group could explore and work with the department to implement:
Assist In Recruiting
- Provide support for existing department recruiting efforts to reinforce the community’s commitment to the Department and our officers
- Help develop programs to recruit new officers from non-traditional sources, beginning with the UMSL Social Work program
- Help research and develop restorative justice program to allow people who committed crimes when they were young but then lead law abiding lives with pardoned felons to join the police
- Encourage residents with video surveillance systems to participate in a digital watch program, making video from their street facing cameras accessible to the police.
- Encourage residents to place wifi video cameras where they can capture the license plates of passing cars.
Develop a Mobile Surveillance Unit
- Ferguson police vehicle, labelled “Mobile Surveillance Unit“, with outward facing video cameras
- Vehicle can be parked in front of problem residences
- Video feed connected to wifi of a nearby residence, to allow police to monitor the video
- Build support for possible traffic calming modifications on main and residential streets
- Help pursue grant funding to pay for the modifications
Abandoned Property Research
- Research and identify the actual owners of vacant, rundown properties
- Outreach to property owners to pressure them to sell or improve the properties
Explore bringing back Red Light Cameras
- Research legal questions around red light cameras
- Identify camera operator partnerships to fund the cost of the cameras
- Build resident support for re-introducing the cameras