JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri House members have endorsed allowing St. Louis to have direct oversight of its police department for the first time since the Civil War era.
Currently, the St. Louis Police Department is overseen by a board consisting of the mayor and four members appointed by the governor. St. Louis officials have urged lawmakers to give them control over the department. St. Louis police officers contend they prefer state control.
Gov. Jay Nixon has expressed concern about the local control measure.
The House voted 123-34 on Thursday to allow St. Louis to control the department. The measure needs another vote before moving to the Senate.
The Kansas City Police Department also is governed by a state board, but officials there are not seeking to change that.