- Man accused of setting fire to Delta bar; posted photos of it burning on Facebook (9/17/17)5
- Owner of Mary Jane Burgers & Brew in Perryville to open new culinary concept in Cape (9/15/17)3
- McClure man accused of leaving children in hot truck while gambling in casino (9/19/17)1
- New boutique store advocates for special-needs people (9/19/17)
- Retailer may come to Jackson; rezoning needed first (9/17/17)2
- Planet Fitness to anchor Town Plaza shopping center (9/18/17)2
- Mo. conservation agents help fight fires in western U.S. (9/15/17)
- Jury finds Harris guilty of murder, 3 other counts (9/15/17)4
- Former major-league slugger Darryl Strawberry to speak at La Croix (9/20/17)
- Young entrepreneurs add fresh ideas, unique offerings for area market (9/18/17)
Local control a positive step
Since the Civil War, the St. Louis and Kansas City police departments have been controlled by the state of Missouri. However, last November, in a nonbinding resolution, 69 percent of St. Louis voters asked the state to leave and return the department to local control. I agree and here's why.
In 1999, former state auditor and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill cited the Board of Police Commissioners for its lack of oversight, fiscal mismanagement and violation of state law.
Over a decade later not much has changed. In 2009, Missouri Auditor Susan Montee also found a host of financial improprieties, including misuse of interest funds, the purchase of a gold badge costing taxpayers nearly $10,000 and wrongful pay of $109,000 in severance.
Moreover, in data reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, "Crime in the United States 2009," St. Louis and Kansas City ranked one and 21, respectively. This alone should be a wake-up call for all Missourians.
It is apparent that the state of Missouri's control over the St. Louis Police Department does more to perpetuate crime than prevent it.
While local control may not solve every problem, it is the first step in addressing mismanagement, lackadaisical oversight and reducing our rankings on the national level.
It is for these reasons that I support House Bill 71 and Senate Bill 23.
ROGER A. GRAHAM, Cape Girardeau