November 29, 2014 / 9:35 PM / in 4 years

Missouri governor seeks more money for Ferguson security

(Reuters) - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon on Saturday called for more funding to maintain security in Ferguson after months of violent protests over the shooting of a black teenager by a white policeman depleted emergency appropriations.

Police officers and National Guard soldiers watch protesters gathered to demand justice for the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, outside the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, Missouri November 28, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The state assembly needs to approve more money to pay salaries for the National Guard by Dec. 15, Nixon said in a statement. Dec. 15 is the date of the next payroll, said Scott Holste, a spokesman for Nixon.

Dec. 15 is the date of the next National Guard payroll, Holste said.

The governor’s statement did not say if the state had already used up all its emergency appropriations, and Holste said he had no further information about current funding levels.

“The dedicated men and women of the National Guard and the Missouri State Highway Patrol are playing a critical role in keeping people safe and protecting property in the St. Louis region,” Nixon said in the statement. “Time is of the essence.”

He said he intends to convene the state assembly for a special session to approve the extra funds. Details about the timing and scope of the special session would be released in the coming days, the statement said.

This week Nixon has come under fire from local officials for not deploying enough National Guards troops to tackle looting and arson which broke out in the Ferguson area after a grand jury declined to indict the policeman responsible for shooting the teenager.

Ahead of the grand jury decision, Nixon had declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard. About 700 troops were deployed in the Ferguson area after the announcement, which provoked widespread anger and unrest.

The next evening, about 2,200 troops were sent to the area.

The state budget for the year ending June 30, 2015, allocated $4 million for emergency duties for the National Guard and $3.4 million for state agencies including the Highway Patrol to respond to disasters and emergencies.

Nixon also said that cleaning up buildings in Ferguson which were destroyed or damaged earlier this week could add to the state’s costs.

Reporting by Frank McGurty; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Lisa Shumaker

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