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ST. LOUIS – A Missouri State representative has proposed a bill that would return the control of the City of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department back to the Board of Commissioners.

State Representative Nick Schroer pre-filed the bill on December 1 for the 2022 legislative session.

The bill says, “On or after July 1, 2023, the board of police commissioners shall assume control of any municipal police force established within any city not within a county…” reached out to St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones’ office. A spokesperson said they do not comment on bills that have only been pre-filed.

State Rep. Schroer represents St. Charles County. Earlier this year, Schroer and other lawmakers took part in a press conference asking Gov. Mike Parson to call for a special session to discuss public safety and concerns over how police departments were being funded.

Schroer said that if the St. Louis City and its prosecutor do not get serious about arresting criminals and prosecuting cases he would push for the state to take back local control.

In 2013, St. Louis City gained local control of the police department. Missouri voters approved the plan.

Before local control, the chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department reported to the board of police commissioners. That board approves policies and purchases for the department. 

Until 2013, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department had been under state control dating back to the civil war era.

The state of Missouri took over control of the St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri police departments in 1861.  This happened often in Border States at the start of the Civil War.  Supporters of the southern Confederate states were concerned the departments` vast arsenals and easy access to river traffic would be used by the northern Union army.  After the war, local control was returned to every other city in the country except St. Louis and Kansas City.