Missouri Department of Public Safety

The Missouri National Guard has been called up by Gov. Jay Nixon to assist local police with security after a grand jury decision is announced in the Michael Brown case. Typically, Guard troopers are called in to respond to emergencies, like natural disas
(Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs/By Carlos J. Lazo)

After he declared a state of emergency, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has been coy about exactly when and how many National Guard troops will come to the St. Louis area ahead of a grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case.

The Missouri Department of Public Safety also declined to give such "operational details" on Wednesday.

But to understand how the National Guard works generally, St. Louis Public Radio reached out to a department spokesman as well as a professor in Department of Military and Veterans Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Budget writers in the Missouri Senate turned their attention today Thursday to the Highway Patrol and the Department of Public Safety as they continue to question why the state’s list of conceal-carry weapons holders was given to the federal government.

Colonel Ron Replogle testified that the Patrol received a request for the list in November of 2011 from the Social Security Administration, which was conducting a fraud investigation.

“And our employees felt this was a legitimate criminal investigation, so therefore they released the information," Replogle said.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The highest-ranking city official to face discipline so far for problems at the St. Louis jails spent four hours under oath today, giving his perspective on the situation that led to four escapes in 15 months.

(via St. Louis City Board of Police Commissioners website)

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon has announced that the former police chief of St. Louis County, Jerry Lee, has been named as the new state public safety director.

Lee will replace former director John Britt, who left the position last Thursday.

The appointment of Lee now leaves a vacancy on the St. Louis City Board of Police Commissioners to be filled by gubernatorial appointment "in due time," Nixon spokesman Scott Holste said.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The head of the public safety department of the city of St. Louis spent nearly two hours on the hot seat today, facing questions under oath about the management of the two jails under his control.

A preliminary review of the St. Louis corrections department finds "numerous weaknesses" in the management, physical structure and operations of the two jails the department oversees.

Six inmates have escaped from the facilities in the last 15 months. Three of the four escapes took place within five months of each other.

UPI/Rick Meyer

Obama Visits Joplin

Exactly a week after Joplin was hit by the deadliest tornado to strike the U.S in decades, President Barack Obama visited the Missouri city to offer hope to survivors and promises of help. Obama took to the stage during the Joplin Community Memorial Service, delivering a message of hope and support.

Along with promises to help rebuild the devastated community, Obama honored some of Joplin’s “heroes,” whom he says acted swiftly – often at the expense of their own lives – to save those around them.

UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock

Joplin Tornado Death Toll at 126

The death toll from Sunday's devastating tornado in Joplin is now up to 126. Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr announced the updated figure to reporters Thursday after meeting with residents and government officials about plans to offer assistance to victimized residents. More than 900 people suffered injuries in Sunday's tornado, now considered the nation's single-deadliest in six decades.