From the St. Louis Post Dispatch When St. Louis’ Major Case Squad is mobilized on a crime
This story was published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch (online edition), on January 13, 2009.
When St. Louis’ Major Case Squad is mobilized on a crime By: Kurt Greenbaum St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A reader who called him/herself blackforty submitted a question on the debut post for A Conversation about Race. The question was about the Major Case Squad in the Greater St. Louis area:
Who determines when the major case squad is called in to solve murders in the St. Louis area? It appears to me that they always show up when a white victim is murder and they solve most of them, but on the other hand we have African-Americans murdered almost daily in the city of St. Louis and their cases are rarely solved (or) are in my opinion not seriously investigated.
I visited the Major Case Squad’s web site and looked for an answer; I found none, but from there, contacted the folks at their office and received this answer from Mearl J. Justus, the director of the Major Case Squad:
The concept of the Major case squad of Greater St. Louis is to provide resources to those smaller departments that do not have the manpower to investigate serious crimes.
I am not aware of any department ever choosing to investigate a case based on the race of the victim. Agencies must request help from the Major Case Squad within four hours from the time the case was discovered.
St. Louis City, St. Louis County and the City of East St. Louis rarely call out the Major Case Squad. The St. Louis departments have their own resources and East St. Louis traditionally calls on the resources of the Illinois State Police.
The Major Case Squad does not receive financial support from the federal government, or either the states of Missouri or Illinois. Every agency that responds to a call-out must cover the full salary of its officers. Quite often this results in long hours of overtime. This is an added burden on the responding department. Manpower is reduced for regular patrol and investigations.
The member agencies of the Major Case Squad are willing to provide this service, despite the costs, because it serves the greater needs of all our communities.
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Required by the Illinois Supreme Court:
All suspects are considered innocent until found guilty in a court of law.