At the Citizens’ Input Meeting for the Bond Issue June 18, SLMPD Chief Dotson unveiled some startling news–his proposed Real Time Intelligence Center (RTIC) is much more costly than previously estimated. The overall cost, the Chief says, will be $10 Million! And we thought it was a waste of money, or worse, at $4 Million.
$6 Million would be included in the Bond Issue, unless St. Louis citizens successfully remove it. An additional $4 Million is part of the Transportation Sales Tax hike which we will be voting on in August. To make the project seem more appropriate on the transportation tax wish list, the police are, in that context, calling the intelligence hub a “transportation center.” That’s a disingenuous misnomer if ever there was one.
Chief Dotson made another surprising admission at the June 18 meeting. In touting the 50% reduction in crime since 2006, he gave little or no credit to the police. Instead, he cited economic development, rather than any law enforcement initiative, as the cause of the decline.
His claim begs the question: Why, if police programs are not a major contributor to crime reduction, would we want to spend $10 Million on a new police initiative–the RTIC?