Missouri has returned the St. Louis Police Department to city leaders, reports the city’s Post-Dispatch. The state's voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition A Tuesday, effectively ending 151 years of state governance of the St. Louis Police Department. Jeff Rainford, chief of staff to St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, called the vote “historic.” Proposition A reverses the 1861 law, signed at the start of the Civil War, that created a state board to govern the city Police Department.
The governor-appointed commissioners who now run the department will step down later this year, and the police will become a division of the city's Department of Public Safety, under mayoral control. Most pundits and officials expected the measure to pass. Slay and other city politicians have been working toward it for years. Financier and philanthropist Rex Sinquefield bankrolled a $2 million statewide campaign. And more than 400 elected officials across Missouri signed on.