So, what’s the problem?The problem is that Aikens never attended a police academy. By law, he couldn't function or act as a police officer. He probably could have attended the police academy, but presumably because of his 18 arrests (including two felonies), he didn’t.
This didn’t stop officials in Uplands Park from putting him to work in a police car. His pursuit that night cost the 450 residents of Uplands Park $3.1 million, which was awarded in a lawsuit. That’s about $7,000 for every man, woman and child living in the tiny cash-strapped village. They don’t even have enough insurance to cover the damages.
On Friday, St. Louis County Circuit Judge Dennis Smith acquitted Aikens of acting as a police officer without a valid peace officer license. I do not know Judge Smith and I will not question his authority. But, really, what would it take to convict someone of this type of crime? Aikens defense was that he was following city policy that allowed him to act as a police officer, so long as he had a “real” police officer seated next to him. I’ll have to remember that one next time I find an unlicensed driver operating a motor vehicle with a licensed driver next to him. But I digress.A few months ago, the Uplands Park Village Board voted to disband their police department for financial reasons (imagine that). All Uplands Park police personnel were dismissed and Velda City was hired to provide police services.
Now, here’s the next tragedy about to happen: The newly elected Uplands Park Village Board is working hard to bring back their police department. It might happen in the next few weeks.
That’s great news for “Officer” Lamont Aikens.