local control

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department says not much would change if oversight of the department returns to City Hall for the first time in 150 years.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

As lawmakers circle around a possible compromise on the local control legislation in the Missouri Capitol today, St. Louis' Mayor Francis Slay shared some of his thoughts on the possible ramifications.


Missouri Republican Senators End Filibuster

Missouri's Senate has embraced a plan to extend federally funded jobless benefits while cutting eligibility for state-funded benefits.  Several Republican senators upset about federal spending ended a filibuster Thursday against legislation renewing the federal long-term benefits. That came after the Senate voted to cut state jobless benefits by six weeks, to a maximum of 20 weeks.

(St. Louis Board of Aldermen & Missouri Senate websites)

The newly re-elected President of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen has called a controversial state Senator "unfit to lead," and is asking her to step down over remarks she made about black politicians who are supporting local control of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A Missouri Senate committee heard testimony today on the St. Louis police local control bill that easily passed the Missouri House last month

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay told the committee on governmental organization that an overwhelming majority of voters support local control, and that under state control, city residents have no input into how the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is run.

St. Louis Police: No Local Control

The top officers of the St. Louis Police Officers' Association are challenging a potential 2012 ballot measure granting St. Louis and Kansas City local control of their police department.  The lawsuit filed Thursday in Cole County contends the summary and financial estimate that would appear on the statewide ballot are unfair and misleading.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

The battle over who will control the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has entered the theater of the courtroom.

Legislative efforts to give the city's Board of Aldermen direct oversight of the department have stalled. (It's currently governed by a five-member board, four of whom are gubernatorial appointees. The mayor is always the fifth).

Harrison Sweazea, Mo. Senate Communications Office

Legislation that would restore local control over the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has stalled in the Missouri Senate

Two St. Louis-area Senators, Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) and Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, University City), began a filibuster of the bill today.

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 Missouri Senate committee has approved legislation that would restore local control to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, but not before adding a provision that could also kill it.

The amendment would reduce the number of city aldermen in St. Louis to 14, and the number of wards from 28 to seven.

The move comes one day after a related bill easily passed the Missouri House.