In February, for the first time in 150 years, a local police-control bill passed the Missouri House of Representatives. Then in May another first: The St. Louis Police Officers' Association (Fraternal Order of Police) announced its support of the bill after working with state legislators and city hall to ensure that its members' benefits were protected. While the bill died before reaching the Senate floor, the votes are all there, and passage is all but inevitable. "I am not aware of any opposition to the bill at this time," says Mayor Slay. If/when the bill is passed, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department will be run by city hall rather than the current honchos who make up the St. Louis City Board of Police Commissioners (the mayor, plus four appointees from the governor). It's a historic change that Slay believes will make the department more accountable to the city and its taxpayers.
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