Gun Violence
10:38 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

SLMPD Chief Dotson Backs Mo. Senate Bill To Create 'Armed Offender Docket' In St. Louis

Legislation being considered by the Missouri Senate would allow the Circuit Court for the city of St. Louis to create a special docket for armed offenders.

Metropolitan Police Chief Samuel Dotson the Third testified in favor of Senate Bill 448 Monday evening before the Missouri Senate Judiciary Committee.  There were 113 homicides in St. Louis last year and the year before, and Dotson says 85 percent of them were committed with firearms.

“A lot of those are not the offender’s first offense or first brush with justice," Dotson told the committee.  "There’s a lead-up, a build-up to those greater crimes – we’d like to intervene at the lesser levels and try and reduce the recidivism rate, keeping our officers safe, which is always my number one goal, and the citizens of the city of St. Louis.”

No one testified against the bill at Monday's hearing.  If passed, a $30 surcharge would be collected on all cases assigned to the armed offender docket, which would be used to cover the cost of their prosecutions and pretrial motions.  A vote on the bill is expected later.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport