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ACLU Calls for More Checks and Balances of Local Control of St. Louis Police Dept.

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A St. Louis Police Department vehicle is pictured in front of the old police headquarters in downtown St. Louis on November 7, 2012. Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

A St. Louis Police Department vehicle is pictured in front of the old police headquarters in downtown St. Louis on November 7, 2012. Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – St. Louis Police are now under the control of Mayor Francis Slay, and that has raised concerns of too much power in one person’s hands.

At Wednesday’s transitional committee meeting, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) member, John Chasnoff, called for more checks and balances to keep St. Louis police chiefs independent of mayors.

“I do think that with just the mayor being in charge, and having the ability to fire the police chief on his own, that we might get too much political influence,” he said.

Chasnoff wants the police chief to still be appointed by the mayor, but confirmed by the Board of Alderman.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson disagreed. “A police chief works for a mayor,” he said. “A mayor is held accountable and responsible for crime in the city.”

The transitional board heard from three speakers, who all called for the creation of a civilian review board to deal with allegations of police wrongdoing.

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