St. Louis County Police and State Highway Patrol to take over Fe - KMOV.com

St. Louis County Police and State Highway Patrol to take over Ferguson protest security

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FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

The St. Louis County Police Department and Missouri State Highway Patrol took over security regarding protests in Ferguson on Thursday at 6 p.m.

The Ferguson Police Department had been responsible for commanding the detail after the State of Emergency, declared by Jay Nixon, ended in December.

Chief John Belmar of the St. Louis County Police Department said that it is necessary to understand the danger of the situation after two police officers were shot and seriously injured early Thursday morning.

President of the St. Louis County Police Officers Association Gabe Crocker said he was worried about officers facing an "unknown assault" Thursday night, but acknowledged that decisions about handling the demonstrations are not easy.

"If we were to get a little more aggressive and try to make a few arrests, we run into the problem of being accused of inciting the crowd," said Crocker. "If we stand around and don't do anything and be accused of letting the city burn or damage property and businesses and homeowners are upset with us."

A news release stated that the St. Louis County Police Department is not assuming routine policing services in Ferguson and that those services are still in the hands of the Ferguson Police Department.

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