According to St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, by this time next year the city could have control of its own police force for the first time since the Civil War.
The announcement came on Wednesday in tandem with an agreement on an package of economic development incentives.
Both issues will be taken up during a special legislative session later this summer.
Slay says the agreement has cleared the way for passage of local control, which now has the backing of the Republican-controlled state House and Senate
“In the last session local control got entangled in the debate over economic development,” says Slay. “With this agreement done, both Speaker Tilley and President Pro Tem Mayer have agreed to support local control in the special session. ”
A collective bargaining agreement with the police department is already in place and Slay says the change will not affect salaries or benefits.
If the governor approves the measure, a 5-member commission will be set up to smooth the transition from state to city control.