Interim Police Chief to Evaluate Policing Model for City
Mayor also asks Interim Police Chief Larry Stulce to evaluate possible return to the St. Charles County SWAT program. The city restarted its own SWAT team in 2011.
Interim Police Chief Larry Stulce will spend the next few months evaluating the Police Department's organization and consider a possible return to participating in the St. Charles County's SWAT team.
Stulce was hired in May for a six-month period while the city conducts a search for a replacement police chief.
However, Faith has asked Stulce to examine whether a two-district policing model is the best organization for the city and to examine a return to the county SWAT program.
"His experience in St. Louis and St. Louis County is certainly very valuable and he'll bring that experience to look at this," she said. "It's information gathering."
Faith said Stulce is examining a range of issues, some of which were concerns raised by police earlier this year. In March, St. Charles Police Association took a vote of no confidence in Chief Dennis Corley, Major Donovan Kenton and Captain Paul West and outlined about 70 issues of concern. Corley resigned in April.
"I don't want them (police officers) to think we're ignoring it," she said. "The chief will be there and he can talk to people. It's not only his recommendation, it's getting a feel for the people around him too."
Faith said once Stulce makes a recommendation on these issues, the city may or may not take action on the recommendation before a new police chief is hired.
The city moved to a two-district organizational structure four years ago. The city is split into two districts with Interstate 70 as the dividing line. Each district has personnel assigned to it and a captain who reports to the police chief.
Stulce said evaluating the impact this organizational structure has had on crime in the city will be one aspect considered.
"Is it meeting the expectations that it was implemented with? Is it the best mode to continue with as we move forward?" he said.
Stulce’s recommendation on a two-district model will affect the city council's decision on building a police station on the north side of town as a wing on a new Public Safety Facility.
The city council is considering adding a 4,659 square foot addition to the Public Safety Facility, which will include a community room, and a new fire station.
If the city doesn’t continue a two district policing model, there is less need to build a 4,659 square foot police station on the building, which could cost $745,440.
Stulce said the city could opt to build a much smaller addition.
"The type of facility will be based on the needs of the type of policing that we are implementing or we might be implementing," he said.
City May Rejoin County SWAT Team
Faith has also asked Stulce to evaluate whether the city should consider rejoining the St. Charles County SWAT.
At the suggestion of then-Chief Dennis Corley, the city pulled five officers out of the County SWAT program in late 2010 and started its own program, called the Special Resources Team, in 2011. The start-up costs were expected to be close to $10,000 or $12,000 for equipment.
There are currently 13 members of the team.
The city operated its own SWAT program from 1980 until 2004 when the program was ended by then-Chief Tim Swope.
The Sheriff's Department decided to form a regional SWAT program that would serve the entire county in 2005.
In addition to considering the organization of the police department, Stulce has brought forward several ordinance changes and has recommended allowing members of the Special Response Team take home cars, even if they live outside city limits.
Stulce said he's just observing the department and evaluating suggestions that men and women in the police department have made.
He said he and his wife are discussing whether he will apply for the permanent job as chief of police. The city has posted the job listing.
"We're looking into it," he said.
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