After 152 Years of State Control, St. Louis Takes Over City Police

Legacy of the Civil War


The 152-year reign of state control of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department will end on Saturday.  

Mayor Francis Slay is expected to sign an executive order officially accepting local control of the police department, which will begin on Sept. 1.  

The outgoing state board of police commissioners will convene for its final meeting, before the city resumes control at midnight.  The meeting, followed by a ceremony, is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. at police headquarters.  

Pro-South politicians devised the state control of police to thwart Union sympathizers in St. Louis in 1861, as the Civil War drew near. Next month's change leaves Kansas City alone among large cities whose police are controlled by a state board.