St. Louis Police Officers’ Association Praises Missouri House Vote
ST. LOUIS, MO – (March 31, 2010) – The St. Louis Police Officers’ Association praised the Missouri State House of Representatives today for voting to defeat the “Local Control” initiative that was being sought by St. Louis City Mayor Francis Slay and his supporters.
Proponents of Local Control were looking to have the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department report to the St. Louis City government. The St. Louis Police Officers Association along with the St. Louis Ethical Society of Police and five other police organizations opposed local control because they wanted to avoid direct political intervention in policing matters, among other reasons.
House Bill 1601, which sought Local Control, was sponsored by State Representative Jamilah Nasheed (D-60) and co-sponsored by Steven Tilley (R-106), the House Majority Floor Leader. It was defeated by a vote of 86 to 63. Those voting against the measure cited the fact that the bill was favored by politicians while average citizens and the rank and file were strongly opposed to it.
“We want to thank the Missouri State Representatives who voted against House Bill 1601, because they recognized the need of those who put their lives on the line everyday over the need for political expediency,” said Joe Steiger, vice-president of the St. Louis Police Officers’ Association. “It also reaffirms our belief that the St. Louis City government is broken with too much bureaucracy, too little efficiency and too many elected officials just trying to keep their jobs.” Tampa and Wichita, cities of a comparable size have one-fifth the numbers of elected officials.
“It has been our contention that the City needs to fix its governance first, reform its political system first; and then we can consider Local Control.” Steiger concluded, “Why do the citizens of St. Louis want to entrust police matters into a broken system? Our citizens and visitors deserve better.”