The legislation, sponsored by Joe Keaveny, would return the St. Louis Police Department back to local control for the first time since the 1850s. Thursday was the first day lawmakers could file bills for next year's session, which starts January 4th. Local control bills failed during both this year's regular and special sessions as they became bargaining chips in the tax credit battle between the House and Senate.
St. Louis residents pay for the city’s police force, but the state controls it.
While St. Louis’ mayor sits on the Board of Police Commissioners, Missouri’s governor appoints the other four members.
It’s been that way for 150 years, since the outset of the Civil War.
In recent years, the drumbeat to bring local control back to the city has been growing louder.
As part of St. Louis Public Radio’s continuing Bound By Division series, Maria Altman reports the reasons for and against local control have changed since the Civil War, but it’s still an issue that pits the city against the state.
A day after a measure granting St. Louis control of its police department cleared the latest of several legislative hurdles, a broad coalition of politicians, business and community leaders and civil rights activists pledged to help it get through the Missouri Senate.
The message they'll bring? You have to listen to the people.