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Slay Lays Out Plans To Deploy 400 National Guard Troops


St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and city law enforcement plan to ask for 400 National Guard troops to augment the city’s police force following the announcement of the St. Louis County grand jury’s decision regarding the Ferguson police shooting.

Slay told the city’sBoard of Aldermen in a letter released Tuesday night that the Guard troops would be split into two groups, each of which would work 12-hour shifts.

He said the troops would be stationed throughout the city at 45 locations. But he added, “We will not, unless something happens that we have not foreseen, post them where there are organized protests.”

Slay offered the most detailed information to date regarding numbers of National Guard troops and plans for their deployment. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who called up the Guard, told reporters in a conference call Monday that he would not release details on how many Guard troops have been called up and where they would be deployed.

County officials also have declined to provide any information about law-enforcement plans.

Nixon has declared a state of emergency, in preparation for possible unrest following the grand jury’s announcement of whether it will recommend that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson be indicted for the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 9.

Many public officials expect that the grand jury will not support an indictment, which is expected to touch off protests from Brown supporters.

Slay also told the aldermen that some area churches will be designated as “sanctuaries’’ for protesters, where police will not enter. The only such church in the city, he said, is St. John’s Episcopal Church, 3664 Arsenal Street.

Slay added in the letter that city Police Chief Sam Dotson and other regional law enforcement officials have met with representatives of some of the protest groups, and have agreed to at least half of the group’s proposed 19 rules of conduct.

Slay did not specify which of the proposed "rules’’ have been agreed upon, and which ones have not.

The mayor added, “I am absolutely convinced that the leaders of the demonstrations and the vast majority of demonstrators themselves are committed to nonviolence.”

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.