Chief Joe Mokwa has many admirers. I count myself among them and have for years.
Earlier this week, I spoke to a lawyer for the chief. I told him that I thought that the distractions posed by unanswered questions about the nature and scope of the practice of using and selling impounded cars will continue to interfere with the chief’s ability to lead the department. I suggested that, with his years of service completed and his pension secure, the chief simply retire now. I suggested this, not because I know or believe that Joe Mokwa has done anything wrong, but because I have come to believe that for the department to focus effectively on its mission of reducing crime, we have to make a change.
An on-going federal investigation will get to the bottom of the issues raised by the Police Board and by local news media. The findings will be what they are, and we will go on from there.
The department’s task of public safety is a vital one for our neighborhoods. St. Louis needs a fully focused department and police chief now.