Law Enforcement Cesspool in Byrnes Mill

14 Nov

All kinds of wrongdoing is coming to light in Byrnes Mill. About a month ago, Police Chief Ed Locke was fired (not even allowed to resign). No reason was given. The city denied a lot of possibilities, though:

City officials would not say why he was relieved of his duties but said there was no money missing, and that his departure had nothing to do with the arrest of the then-mayor of Valley Park in June for driving while intoxicated or with any local Jefferson County elections.

Locke says he was preparing to resign for another job, and that the city fired him to save money on severance. All he got for a severance package was $3,925 for unused vacation – good on the city for not giving him more than that.

At the time, “County Councilman Don Bickowski … said he had no inside knowledge about Locke’s ouster but said ‘in this area, in Jefferson County, there’s a lot of politics — a lot of good ole boy politics.'”

Well, now another Byrnes Mill officer is in trouble – Locke’s kid, Ed Locke Jr. In April 2011, he plead guilty to a misdemeanor of hiring an unlicensed officer when he was chief of some podunk St. Louis County town (many of which are known for crappy police departments). The plea deal included probation and a two-year ban on full-time employment as a law enforcement officer. Well, he has been violating that last part day after day – thanks to the fact that his dad hired him. He worked regular and overtime hours until his probation was revoked in July, and possibly even after that. On October 1, the state attorney general began looking into revoking his license to serve as a police officer.

The same day that complaint was filed, Locke Sr. was fired, although the city administrator said the firing “had nothing to do with his son’s employment.” Just a coincidence, I guess. Junior was fired by the city three days later.

The Post-Dispatch article notes that Byrnes Mill  has a “reputation for strict enforcement of traffic laws.” In other words, the police force is used primarily as a revenue stream for the city, issuing lots of tickets to motorists in order to bring in big bucks.

A potential ray of light emerges from all this fraud:

He said the city is considering hiring the Jefferson County sheriff’s office to handle policing Byrnes Mill. The sheriff’s office does not have any contracts to police municipalities — a practice common in other counties — but is open to the idea, said Jefferson County Sheriff Oliver “Glenn” Boyer.

“If they’d like us to provide policing services, we’d certainly be able to negotiate something,” Boyer said.

Anytime we can get rid of a small town ticket-factory police force, and replace it with professionals, is a good day. It is not certain, though, if Byrnes Mill will pursue this option:

And while Perney said the city is open to the idea of contracting for police services, the search is on for a chief.

Applications to become the new chief at Byrnes Mill are due Nov. 21.

“We do like having our own police force,” Perney said.

The article doesn’t say whether nor not Perney was rubbing his fingers together in the international sign for moolah when he made that last statement.

P.S. Bulletinman was on the case in Byrnes Mill in June 2010.


One Response to “Law Enforcement Cesspool in Byrnes Mill”

  1. Randy Weipert November 28, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    Hey there from many miles away! This is just what I was searching for, and you nailed it. Thankyou


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