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St. Louis police officers hopeful for a new day with new circuit attorney in office

A local police union is glad to see changes already happening, including the reopening of the St. Louis City Municipal Court's warrant office.

ST. LOUIS — Changes at the top. St. Louis’ new top prosecutor, Gabe Gore, says it's time to hire new workers and get the circuit attorney's office where it needs to be as police officers hope for a brand-new day.

Gore is replacing Kim Gardner, who stepped down following a cloud of controversy.

"Working together ... we can restore the public's confidence,” he said during his swearing in ceremony Tuesday.

That's music to the ears of the St. Louis Police Officers Association.

"The troops on the street are upbeat for a fresh start, a new start ... the relationship has been so fractured here recently,” Joe Steiger, business manager for the association, said.

Steiger said he is glad to see changes already happening, including the reopening of the St. Louis City Municipal Court's warrant office. Police go to the warrant office when they make an arrest. Prosecutors then hear the merit of the case and decide whether to move forward with charges. 

Gardner closed the office when she was in charge.

"That's kind of where the relationships are built. The attorneys and police officers meet each other. They get to know each other. You learn a lot about each other, how each other works. It's an important aspect,” he explained.

He said he's hoping to see Gardner’s exclusion list, a list she created with the names of police officers, done away with. If an officer's name was on the list, then prosecutors would not consider cases they worked.

"No one really knew who was on it. They didn't know why they were on it,” Steiger said. "You see those in other places, 'Brady Lists,' there's always a process. There's a reason why you’re on there. It's open record and there's a way to get off the list and that's not what this was. This was just kind of an arbitrary list."

Chief Robert Tracy, with St. Louis police, said he's also hopeful for a new day.

"We all have to work together. We got to make sure that we're not having conflict in the press. We've got to make sure that everything that we do is professional,” he said.

He said he believes this goal consists of holding all criminals accountable.

"There has to be a penalty for the ones that do something wrong, that continue to go out and cause harm in our community. That is big. We've got to make sure that there are consequences to behavior,” Tracy added.

"You’re seeing the same people committing crimes again and again. The same people out on the street over and over again because they're not being prosecuted,” Steiger said.

Just hours after he was sworn in, Gore hired a chief trial assistant. Marvin Teer resigned from the same position under Gardner's administration.

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