Regarding “Fallout: Chairman of St. Louis County police board resigns, calling verdict against police ‘wake-up call’” (Oct. 30): The leadership problems of the St. Louis County police department are epitomized by the comments of (now former) Police Board Commissioner Laurie Westfall. She stated that “I think we have a really good board. … This board didn’t even know that all was going on” regarding discrimination that cost the county a $20 million jury award.
As the oversight organization for the police, they should have known what was going on. In Westfall's own words: “That’s our job.” She and her fellow board members certainly did not do that job. She also stated that just because the jury sided with the complainant, “it doesn’t mean they [police commanders] are guilty.” Actually, I think it does. County Executive Sam Page made an appropriate decision to replace her. The homophobic and racist culture of the police department will not change without a complete change in leadership. There must be real leaders in charge.
Helen Nelling • University City