ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Ahead of the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon Monday signed an executive order activating the Missouri National Guard. The Governor said the Guard will act in a support capacity for local law enforcement, allowing officers to focus on their community.
“These additional resources will support law enforcement’s efforts to maintain peace and protect those exercising their right to free speech. The National Guard is well-suited to provide security at command posts, fire stations and other locations as well as perform other functions that will free up law enforcement officers to remain focused on community policing and protecting constitutional rights.”
The order also impacted the the Ferguson Police Department, as the Governor explained the city's law enforcement will not be engaged in policing civil disobedience. Instead, Ferguson officers will handle routine calls in their jurisdiction while St. Louis County Police will handle the protests.
"The St. Louis County Police Department will have command and operational control over security in the City of Ferguson in areas of protest and acts of civil disobedience should such activities occur instead of the Ferguson Police Department in that jurisdiction," Nixon explained.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar experessed confidence in a statement released early Monday, saying officers had undergone extensive training to prepare for the announcement and worked closely with the community to prepare.