St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger has issued the following statement regarding the recent events in Ferguson:
“In light of last night’s violence and unrest in the City of Ferguson, and the potential for harm to persons and property, I am exercising my authority as county executive to issue a state of emergency, effective immediately.
The recent acts of violence will not be tolerated in a community that has worked so tirelessly over the last year to rebuild and become stronger. The time and investment in Ferguson and Dellwood will not be destroyed by a few that wish to violate the rights of others.
I commend the St. Louis County Police Department, the Missouri Highway Patrol, and other local agencies for their professional response as they work daily in the service of law, order, and peace.
Pursuant to my executive order, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar shall immediately take over the operation of police emergency management in the City of Ferguson and surrounding areas.
Chief Belmar shall exercise all powers and duties necessary to preserve order, prevent crimes, and protect the life and property of our citizens.”