ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – Missouri’s Proposition A passed in a landslide Tuesday night, allowing the City of St. Louis to take over control of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, which was previously ran by a state board.
Only 36 percent of voters voted against the proposal, giving city leaders local control of its police department.
The change comes at a transitional time for the department. Mayor Francis Slay has made the move to city control one of his top priorities. City police officers have given mixed reaction to the proposition. Some favor it, others not so much.
The governor-appointed commissioners who currently run the police department will step down and Mayor Slay will now control police as a division of the city’s department of public safety.
The change will take place next July.
Prior to that, the Board of Police Commissioners has some work to do, including selecting a new police chief, a task they are asking the public for assistance.
During a meeting Tuesday, Slay said there were 13 candidates for the chief job.
He also said his number one priority will be reducing crime in city neighborhood because while crime citywide is down 13 percent, aggravated assaults are up three percent.
“That’s what this is all about,” he said. “It’s about accountability, efficiency and safer neighborhoods.”
Slay says they’ll be saving $3 to $4 million, money that can be spent on keeping city residents safe.
“The number one priority here is to make sure there is a smooth transition,” said Slay. “That nothing is done in any way to impact this department negatively, the ability to continue to fight crime and make the neighborhoods safer.”
Three neighborhood forums will be held starting on Wednesday. These forums will give citizens an opportunity to discuss the qualities they believe the next leader of the police department should possess. Each forum should last approximately 90 minutes.
The forums are scheduled for:
- Wednesday, November 7 at Harris Stowe State University at 3026 Laclede Avenue at 6:30 p.m.
- Thursday, November 8 at Grbic Banquet Center, 4071 Keokuk at 6:30 p.m.
- Tuesday, November 13 at omega center, 3900 Goodfellow at 6:30 p.m.