The St. Louis Police Board has removed a more than three-decade-old rule that required officers to live in the city, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The impact may not be known for some time as the 1,000 or so eligible officers consider their options. Their decisions could ripple across families, schools, churches, and communities.
The poor city public school system may drive some officers out, but the deep roots some police families have in private schools may keep some officers in place. Rumors have persisted that officers who didn’t want to live in the city moved out long ago. They simply ignored the rule. Others have argued that for safety reasons officers shouldn’t have to live among those they have sent to jail. Under the new rules, officers with seven years of service could live outside the city, effective immediately. About three-fourths of 1,360 current officers are eligible to move. New officers must complete training and a probationary period before their experience will count toward the seven years.