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Mayor wants state to step in and make city residency change that St. Louis BOA rejected

Mayor Lyda Krewson says to hire qualified police officers the city must be able to hire outside its borders

ST. LOUIS — In the name of fighting crime, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson wants state lawmakers to do something that the city's Board of Aldermen rejected last year.

The mayor said the city is about 130 police officers short of a fully staffed department. She said more officers are needed to fight crime.

According to the city's charter, all city employees must live inside the city limits. Last year, the Board of Aldermen rejected a plan to ask voters to lift that requirement.

The St. Louis Board of Alderman rejected a proposal to let the police department recruit from outside the city.

The mayor said Friday that she plans to ask the state to step in and make the change. 

"We have to solve crimes, we have to make arrests, we have to hold those folks accountable," Krewson said in a press conference Friday. "But you need law enforcement to do that. And we're here to support our law enforcement so that they can do that."

While police officers are the priority, the mayor says lifting the residency requirement could help fill another 700 positions in city government. 

Alderwoman Cara Spencer told 5 On Your Side she agrees public safety is the "paramount" concern, but said, "This is the mayor bypassing the city legislature and city voters."


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