“Hours after a burglary at a designer jeans store in St. Louis’ upscale Central West End neighborhood, at least 16 city police officers received an email alert with surveillance photos of the car believed to belong to the suspects — and an offer of a reward of at least $1,000 for any officer able to locate it. The email was not from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the police force that employs them and that residents fund with their taxes. Instead, it was from a retired city police detective named Charles ‘Rob’ Betts, who also employs them at his private company, The City’s Finest.” It’s one thing to have private security. That already separates the haves from the have nots. But it’s a bit much when you can essentially pay directly for more official police protection—and these guys are in uniformed and armed, even when they’re working private. ProPublica: St. Louis’ Private Police Forces Make Security a Luxury of the Rich.