Political activist Rex Sinquefield is donating $300,000 to a Missouri group's effort to remove the St. Louis and Kansas City police departments from state control.
The political action committee A Safer Missouri plans to collect the 150,000 valid signatures necessary to get the issue on the Nov. 2012 ballot.
Nanci Rice, a spokesperson for A Safer Missouri, says the coalition of people who support local control is broad.
"Some people may be concerned about budget, but I think most people are concerned about accountability,” Rice said, “The residents of St. Louis currently do not have a method of expressing their concern or effecting change in the police department when things don't go the way that they think that they should."
The Committee for A Safer Missouri is also supporting two bills in the legislature that would allow St. Louis to take control of its police department. Rice says if either of those bills becomes law, A Safer Missouri will not pursue the petition.