St. Louis Police Department State Control Bill goes to Senate

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — State control of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is one step closer to reality.

Members of the Missouri House passed the bill, and it is now in the hands of state senators. As HB 702 drove by the Jefferson City home, some people in St. Louis hoped the bill would pass the Senate.

“When the state takes over the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the will of voters is reversed,” said Nick Desideri, communications director for the office of St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones. “There are still many ways to stop this in the Senate and we will wait for Senate Democrats to stay strong.”

He said her office believes state control is an empty promise that the state cannot deliver on in order to reduce crime. Desideri said across the state is a prime example.

“In Kansas City, which is still under state control, the city experienced its three deadliest years in the last three years,” he said. “Clearly, state control doesn’t work in Kansas City, and it wouldn’t work in St. Louis either.”

Rep. Brad Christ said the city’s police department has lost hundreds of officers and it’s time for the state to take over.

“I think 10 years is a good time. The other thing people were voting on 10 years ago was campaign promises of less crime, cost savings and a thriving business economy,” Christ said. “This 10-year activity has failed for all three.”

He said Kansas City is a good example of how government control affects crime, but he has a different take on Desideri.

“Their crime stats are about half that of St. Louis, so it’s a significant drop from our state control to their local control,” Christ said. “Second, their crime statistics have remained fairly stable over the past 10 years while their region is growing. So St. Louis is declining and our crime rate is increasing.”

If the law passes, five people will control the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Mayor Jones will be one, and the other four will be appointed by the governor. You must have been a resident of the city for at least four years. St. Louis Police Department State Control Bill goes to Senate

Sarah Y. Kim

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