Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

12 Troopers to Reinforce City Police

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

12 Troopers to Reinforce City Police

Article excerpt

Gov. Mel Carnahan is sending Missouri Highway Patrol troopers to St. Louis and Kansas City, where they will work alongside police battling crime waves in both cities.

Carnahan will announce today that a dozen troopers will begin patrol duty in St. Louis next month and stay for 60 days, the Post-Dispatch has learned. Another 12 troopers will go to Kansas City.

Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. said Tuesday that St. Louis doesn't need state troopers - just state money.

"If the governor thinks we need some additional officers, he should just send us a check," Bosley said. "We can train our own officers."

The mayor stopped short of saying the city shouldn't accept the troopers. The Police Department is a state agency, and Bosley is one of five members of the Police Board; the governor appoints the others.

Last year, St. Louis ranked No. 3 among the nation's 50 most populous cities in total serious crime per capita; Kansas City ranked No. 5.

Carnahan met Tuesday with St. Louis Police Chief Clarence Harmon, Kansas City Police Chief Steven Bishop and officials of the state Department of Public Safety and the Highway Patrol.

Bishop said he will welcome the state troopers and hopes they will stay at least through August.

"Our murders are up 12 percent from last year, and summer hasn't even started yet," he said.

Unlike Bishop, Harmon did not ask for state troopers, police sources said.

Harmon was reluctant to say no to the governor, the sources added, but the chief feared that the public might compare St. Louis with East St. Louis. Illinois state troopers have helped patrol the streets there for several years; city officials said they needed help to preserve law and order.

Bosley said he didn't think having troopers on the streets would make people compare his city with East St. Louis.

"But it may send the wrong signal," Bosley said. "The public is going to think that we've got a problem that we can't manage. And we can manage it."

Reached in Jefferson City, Harmon noted it wouldn't be the first time state troopers have worked in the city. …

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