DOJ reports on policing Ferguson unrest could cost taxpayers more than $1mn


The Justice Department could pay two contractors over one million {dollars} complete to provide reports on the St. Louis County Police Department response to violence that erupted in Ferguson, Missouri final August. Yet critics contend the reports shall be biased.

The DOJ employed the Police Foundation to provide a report on “collaborative reform” for the St. Louis County PD and the Institute for Intergovernmental Research for an “after-action” report on the division’s policing throughout the 17 days of violence and looting within the St. Louis suburb after a white Ferguson Police Department officer shot and killed an unarmed black teen on August 9, 2014.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch obtained copies of the contracts with the 2 exterior corporations by way of a public data request. Those contracts present that the Institute for Intergovernmental Research estimated it can cost $225,000 to finish its report, whereas the Police Foundation report will cost about $780,000. That collaborative reform report was initiated on the request of St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar in September.

The after-action report price range consists of $54,450 for contractors and $37,600 to journey to St. Louis. The collaborative reform report anticipates more than 140 days of advisor work, unfold amongst a minimum of a half dozen consultants, at a fee of $550 a day; journey prices; a number of journeys to St. Louis by Police Foundation officers; telephones; house rental; and different prices, the Post-Dispatch reported.

But former St. Louis County police chief Tim Fitch thinks the Justice Department reports shall be biased in opposition to the county police division.

“They’re being paid to say whatever the DOJ wants them to say,” he advised the Post-Dispatch. “It certainly is stunning that the DOJ would spend that amount of money to conduct a review of a police agency that already has the highest level of accreditation of any agency in the country.”

Fitch stated that the federal authorities ought to enable police companies to rent their very own consultants, so each side of a difficulty could be offered to resolution makers.

The DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), which employed the 2 corporations, defended its use of contractors to finish the reports.

COPS spokeswoman Mary Brandenberger advised the Post-Dispatch that the company hires exterior contractors to provide “nonbiased, fair and objective” reports, for which there’s a worth.

“I’m not aware of any police analysis charities out there,” she stated.

“We peer-review everything,” Brandenberger added. “It is a third-party, independent analysis.” But the cost in comparison with a earlier after-action report provides some credence to Fitch’s criticisms.

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