St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay used last week's critical audit
of the St. Louis Police Department as one more reason why the law enforcement agency should be under local control.
The St. Louis police department has operated under state control since the Civil War
when out-state legislators feared that city cops might assist the Union Army.
Union sympathizers? Turn-of-the-century St. Louis cops.
At a meeting yesterday
of the St. Louis Police Board of Commissioners, Slay told his former members that local oversight would do a better job of checking the powers and procedures of the law agency.
The mayor made a similar plea in a blog post
"The police department sorely needs more direct accountability. If the
citizens of St. Louis -- rather than the State of Missouri -- controlled
the police department, the department would be that much more
accountable to the people who pay the bills rather than to people in
Jefferson City who don't have the time or inclination to pay attention
to its daily operations."
"The current structure of governance may
have served the City well during the Civil War, 1904 World's Fair, and
World War II. But, it is badly outdated and no longer works. It is time