Updated with comments from the Foundation's board president.
St. Louis police chief Dan Isom got an unexpected present today at the annual luncheon of the St. Louis Police Foundation - a $3 million check.
When it's combined with department resources, the donation makes it possible to turn the old Wells-Fargo building at 1915 Olive Street into a new headquarters. The department's current facility, and 1200 Clark Ave., is almost 85 years old and needs about $70 million in repairs.
It's a three-year deal that locks in salaries, benefits and department operating procedures. Mayor Francis Slay called the hard work it took to reach the deal worth it.
"I think it gives us a good opportunity to have a stronger partnership and to work together more closely for a better department and one that helps us address crime and other issues in the city of St. Louis," he said.
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.
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).
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.