Gov. Jay Nixon today named retired St. Louis County Police Sgt. Byron Watson to serve on the Ferguson Commission, the independent commission charged with making specific recommendations for how to make progress on the issues raised by events in Ferguson. Watson will replace Bethany Johnson-Javois, who was named earlier this month as the Commission’s managing director by co-chairs Rev. Starsky Wilson andRich McClure.
Watson, who grew up in north St. Louis City and currently lives in Florissant, served with the St. Louis County Police Department from 1981 to 2008 and retired at the rank of sergeant. A certified field training officer and DARE instructor with 33 years’ experience as a police officer, he is currently an officer with the St. Louis Community College campus police. Watson is a veteran of the U.S. Army.
“As a retired law enforcement officer, field training officer, U.S. Army veteran, and lifelong resident of the St. Louis region, Byron Watson brings a unique and valuable perspective to the Commission,” said Gov. Nixon. “As the Ferguson Commission continues its important work, I thank Sgt. Watson and his fellow commissioners for their dedication and look forward to reviewing their specific recommendations for building a safer, stronger and more united region.”
Under the Governor’s executive order, the Ferguson Commission will be responsible for issuing a report with policy recommendations no later than Sept. 15, 2015, in the following areas: citizen-law enforcement interaction and relations; racial and ethnic relations; municipal government organization and the municipal court system; and disparities in areas including education, economic opportunity, housing, transportation, health care, child care, business ownership, and family and community stability.
The Commission has had three public meetings since Gov. Nixon announced its members on Nov. 18. More information on the members of the Ferguson Commission can be found on the commission’s website,www.stlpositivechange.org. Media requests for the Ferguson Commission can be sent to[email protected] or by calling (314) 935-5554.