St. Louis (KSDK)--With the strike of a pen, Mayor Francis Slay accepted the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department into the city's control at the last scheduled meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners Saturday afternoon.
"What this means is there will be a closer bond and a collaborative effort between the city of St. Louis and the St. Louis Police Department," Mayor Slay says. "We will be working together to help make every one of our neighborhoods, all of our people, all the visitors that come here safer."
The transition will be official at 12:01 a.m. Sunday. This change is a result of voters passing Proposition A in November, shifting control from a board appointed by the Governor and to the city. A move designed to make the city safer.
"The only thing that does change is instead of reporting to five people that include the mayor, now I report to the mayor.." says Chief Sam Dotson.
Chief Dotson and Mayor Slay say nobody will lose their jobs, but there will be attrition. So as people retire and move on, some positions will be eliminated. And they believe the savings from this change will save the taxpayers a lot of money in the long run.
"...over time we think we can save in the millions of dollars annually through the efficiencies that will help support this department, make it stronger," Mayor Slay says.
"...as we go forward in time, we're going to look for opportunities to save money and take that money and re-invest it into public safety in the city of St. Louis whether that's additional officers, new technologies, new equipment," Chief Dotson adds.
Slay and Dotson agree that this means the police department will now be more accountable to the people of St. Louis.