ST. LOUIS - As the Missouri Guard prepares for the grand jury announcement, the City of St. Louis is requesting 400 guardsmen stay in St. Louis City limits.
Mayor Slay is proposing that guardsmen be assigned to 12-hour shifts, meaning at any given time, as long as they're needed, 200 men and women from the National Guard would be on the ground in St. Louis focusing not on the protesters, but on preventing destruction.
"They're just here for backup, just to provide support," says Mayor Slay.
Mayor Slay issued a letter to the public safety committee on Tuesday, detailing the mission of the guard in the city to prevent random acts of violence, looting or property destruction.
"There will be about 45 locations they'll be stationed at and protecting and we'll be working closely with our police department," added Slay.
Mayor Slay says roughly 1,000 St. Louis Police Officers, who will also work 12 hour shifts in the event of unrest, will continue to take the lead with community interaction.
"This would mean that the police are free to go make sure the residents are safe in their neighborhoods and that the protesters are safe and can move through those neighborhoods," says Slay.
Slay and St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson say the goal is to keep the community safe no matter what the decision is.
“A small percentage are coming for acts of violence and the governor’s made it clear and law enforcement has made it clear, acts of violence will not be tolerated.” St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said. “Our intelligence is good, our tactics are good, we can protect lawful people and the same time arrest criminals.”
Dotson says the majority of people protesting are in St. Louis to have their voices heard and will be doing so peacefully.
There is no official word yet on whether the request for 400 guardsmen in St. Louis had been granted and the locations of the guardsmen have not yet been determined according to Slay.