St. Louis Public Radio News
7:19 am
Wed December 17, 2008

Police board gets some good news on crime

St. Louis, MO – New crime data presented to the Board of Police Commissioners shows an almost nine percent decrease in crime in St. Louis since last year.

Homicides are still up about 25 percent over 2007, but the number in November of this year was much lower than the same month last year. Police chief Daniel Isom says the department's plan to target so-called "hot spots" in North City appears to be paying off.

"We've flooded the areas with officers, we're following up on every incident that is involved in a shooting," he said. "But in addition to that, we've developed a partnership with the federal agencies."

Isom says the department has also made several big arrests in a series of car thefts in the second district, in south city.

The board also learned Wednesday that the department must pay back about $189,000 to the fund that holds money seized during arrests.

The department is allowed by state law to use the interest from the account to purchase things related to asset forfeiture, like rent on storage places. But the department has in the past spent it on other things.

Isom says it's obvious the process wasn't followed, "And so we've made adjustments to the process going forward, everyone recognizes that money should not have been spent from that account," he said.

It's not clear where the department will get the money to pay back the fund.