Ballot Initiatives for Local Police Control Cruise Through Administrative Hoops

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Lawyer Brad Ketcher has had three ballot-initiative petitions pertaining to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department approved by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, her office announced yesterday.

Ketcher is a political operative who led the successful 2008 ballot initiative to remove the $500 loss limits at Missouri casinos. 

Ketcher's minions now have until May 2 to gather enough signatures in order for Carnahan to certify any of the initiatives for the November 2010 ballot. 

All three petitions aim to wrest control of the city police department from the state, and allow St. Louis to pass ordinances giving it local control.

The first petition voters will be asked to sign reads:

Shall Missouri law be amended to allow any city not within a county, currently St. Louis City, the option to replace the current state control over that city's municipal police force by passing an ordinance that establishes local control of the city's municipal police force?
The second and third petitions read:

Shall Missouri law be amended to allow any city not within a county, currently St. Louis City, the option to replace the current state control over that city's municipal police force and police retirement benefits system [our emphasis] by passing ordinances that establish local control of the city's municipal police force and police retirement benefits?
Kansas City, whose police department is also controlled by the state, would not be affected were these petitions to pass muster.

It'll be interesting to see whether Ketcher and fellow politicos can pull this off, considering they'll need a certain number of signatures from the entire state -- not just St. Louis.

Are voters in Springfield, say, or even St. Louis county, for that matter, likely to care?


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