A year after the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill, Kirkwood Police Department dispatcher Crystal McCune used her time for public comment to remind city council members of the consequences of inadequate security.

McCune, a part-time dispatcher for the Kirkwood Police Department, called on the Kirkwood City Council at its Jan. 6 meeting to reconsider the 2022 budget to include strengthening security at the dispatch center. She said she and her colleagues, who are civilians and are therefore not allowed to carry firearms, fear for their safety at a time when protests that “usually begin peacefully and escalate to violence” are commonplace.

“It’s heartbreaking to be here,” she said. “Police agencies are damaged by throwing bricks, setting police cars on fire, violating the security of secured areas… Where are we going? Where would we be sure to find shelter…

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