Gov. Jay Nixon has named retired St. Louis County Police Sergeant Byron Watson to the Ferguson Commission, according to a news release from the governor’s office. The commission is an independent body charged with making recommendations on how to move forward in Ferguson, the St. Louis suburb shaken by unrest and two waves of riots following the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer.
Watson, who currently serves as an officer with the St. Louis Community College campus police, will replace Bethany Johnson-Javois, who last month was named the commission’s managing director. He lives in Florissant and has 33 years of experience as a police officer, serving with the St. Louis County Police Department from 1981 to 2008.
The governor created the Ferguson Commission and charged it with the task of issuing a report with policy recommendations regarding: 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.