Radio Free North County
I promise this will be the last post of police radio dispatching for some time, but the Post-Dispatch had another story on it today. I am not going to talk about the dispute in the attached article, other than saying people should pay their bills and avoid conflicts of interest. The nugget I am interested in is the radio consortium operated by the police departments of Pine Lawn, Wellston, Pagedale, Kinloch and Beverly Hills. Kudos to them for sharing this system for years and saving money for taxpayers, beyond just the money saved by not paying rent to Normandy School District. A bit of research shows me that most of the above cities contract with St. Louis County for electrical and plumbing inspections, which is also a good example of consolidation. Kinloch has, for all intents and purposes, stopped providing government services to its 449 people, other than arresting airport contractors trying to clean up trash within the city. For that it thinks it needs a full time mayor, but that is another issue.
Back to the radio consortium. In the interest of their citizens, these five cities, and many others in the near-north area, should follow this small example and either merge into one municipality or, better yet, disincorporate entirely and let St. Louis County provide all these services to the residents of this area for less tax money than they currently pay. For small, poor cities, disincorporation is a true win-win situation, but it will still never happen ’cause the police chiefs and mayors like their jobs to much.