Two pending federal reviews of the St. Louis County Police Department, the region's second-largest police agency, are different from the civil rights investigations that put Ferguson into the international spotlight and sent six city officials out the door, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. They are conducted by the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) arm of the Justice Department, not the Civil Rights Division, which delivered scathing criticism of treatment of blacks by the Ferguson police and municipal court. One, a process called collaborative reform, was requested by county police to assess what the department is doing well, or not. The other, an after-action report, was initiated by the Justice Department to examine how police handled the first two weeks of protests after the shooting of Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson.
Initial reports from both reviews are weeks from completion, with perhaps years of follow-up expected. U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), is urging the Justice Department to finalize reviews of the county police to clear the way for the possibility that its officers might be asked to take over for the Ferguson department. COPS director Ronald Davis has said he expected the collaborative reform process to take about two years and include an initial report and at least two “progress reports,” six months and one year after the first. Las Vegas was the first to undergo the process, in 2012, and its initial report contained 75 recommendations on use of force, Davis said.