National Guard scaling back operations in region

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Jay Nixon announced today — Tuesday — that improving conditions allow the Missouri National Guard to begin scaling back its operations in the St. Louis region.

The governor said the Guard has completed its duties within the city of St. Louis, and has begun to systematically reduce its presence in St. Louis County. The Guard continues to support local law enforcement agencies in Ferguson and other areas of St. Louis County. As of 1 p.m. today, 1,268 Guardsmen remain stationed in the St. Louis region.

“The men and women of the Missouri National Guard have served the people of the region admirably, and I greatly appreciate their professionalism, bravery and dedication,” Gov. Nixon stated in a news release. “As the Guard begins to scale back its operations, the Missouri State Highway Patrol will continue to work closely with local law enforcement agencies to protect lives and property in Ferguson and across the St. Louis region.

“My administration also remains committed to helping affected communities rebuild and recover, and building a safer, fairer and more united region for all.”

The governor has been in communication with leadership of St. Louis City and County police, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Missouri National Guard to discuss the status of the ongoing missions. Following these discussions, and through close monitoring of the ongoing situation in the area, leaders of the unified command agreed that as conditions improved there would be a systematic reduction in Guard operations.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol continues to work closely with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the St. Louis County Police Department as a unified command to protect lives and property throughout the region.

Last month, Gov. Nixon declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard to support law enforcement in the St. Louis region. Besides providing security at nearly 100 locations around the region, including at police and fire stations, utility substations, hospitals, shopping malls and stadiums, Guardsmen have performed roving and static patrols in the Ferguson area. Hundreds of state troopers have also served alongside local law enforcement, working around the clock to maintain public safety.