ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Governor’s plan is being applauded by Interim Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole. He says whenever you bring in reinforcements, it helps.

“It will definitely boost morale because our officers know that they’re going from call to call and they know that there’s work to be done on the highways and we haven’t had adequate controls on the highway for some time. So I think they appreciate the highway patrol coming in and lending a hand,” he says.

O’Toole says the city has had four fatal shootings on Interstate 55 and one on Interstate 70, so having the Highway Patrol on the interstates will be important.

St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann was also on hand for the Governor’s announcement.

“This is something that we can’t simply leave to the city of St. Louis. Try as they might, if they don’t succeed it’s not going to just hurt the city, it’s going to hurt the county, and it’s going to hurt all the surrounding counties,” he says.

Ehlmann says already he’s getting questions from companies thinking of moving to St. Charles from outside the area, asking “how close are you to downtown?” Ehlmann is offering to provide St. Louis police with help, including having his police cover the highways in St. Charles County so that more Highway Patrol officers are free to serve in the city.

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