ST. LOUIS -- After more than a century-and-a-half of state control, St. Louis will regain oversight of its own police department starting Sept. 1.
City leaders, including Police Chief Sam Dotson and Mayor Francis Slay, are anxious to take the reins. They say it will allow for several changes that they feel will make the department run more efficiently and effectively.
Slay’s chief of staff, Jeff Rainford, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Slay will not tell police how to fight crime, but will now be able to hold the chief accountable and coordinate city government around policing.
State control of St. Louis police dates to the Civil War. Pro-South politicians devised the plan to thwart Union sympathizers in St. Louis in 1861, as the war drew near.