(KMOV.com) -- Starting at midnight Sunday, St. Louis City Hall will officially take the reins and control the St. Louis Police Department for the first time since 1861.
Mayor Slay signed an order accepting control over the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and he along with Police Chief Sam Dotson believe the move will make the city safer.
“We’ve got a police department that’s going to be governed closer to the people of St. Louis,” Mayor Slay said, “They’re going to be more directly accountable to the people of St. Louis.”
Previously, politicians had given control of the police department to a governor appointed board.
Officials commemorated the change Saturday and those present agreed the change of control is better for residents.
Opponents of the measure fear the possibility of layoffs, but both Chief Dotson and Mayor Slay said that won’t happen.
Dotson and Slay used the increased patrols in College Hill as an example of the crime fighting progress that can come from this new collaboration.
“I believe this form of governance will create a synergy between City Hall and the police department that,” said Chief Dotson, “we haven’t seen before in the city of St. Louis.”