A bill meant to lift police residency requirements for officers in the city of St. Louis was expanded by lawmakers Tuesday night to include all Missouri municipalities, despite opposition from Kansas City.
Currently, many Missouri cities require law enforcement officers to live within the cities they police. In Kansas City, sworn officers must reside in the city for one year before beginning employment, and civilian workers have nine months to move into the city, reports the Kansas City Star.
The proposal initially covered only the city of St. Louis Police Department, which is more than 100 officers short.
Lifting residency requirements would help recruiting and retention, according to Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who has pushed the measure as an effort to combat violent crime. The mayor and police chief of St. Louis have voiced support as well, after local efforts to dismantle the requirements were defeated by the city’s aldermen.
The amendment passed through the House Judiciary Committee on a voice vote and the bill now heads to the House floor.