Congressman Lacy Clay of St. Louis says the federal government may soon be able to help local police as they try to combat crime in some parts of the city.
The St. Louis Police Department has recently reassigned some officers to so-called “hot spots” where violent crime continues to be a problem. Clay says there should be announcements in the next few months about combined federal-and-local crime-fighting efforts.
Seeking to reassure the public that St. Louis City is taking action to curb a recent spate of gun-related crime, City Hall announced on Monday several measures designed to target problem neighborhoods.
Police Chief Dan Isom has isolated 12 focus neighborhoods, 8 of which are located in North St. Louis, 2 in central city and 2 in the south.
Starting last weekend Isom says he is also shifting work schedules to move officers from day to evening patrol.
The East St. Louis Housing Authority will use a portion of a federal grant it received in February to boost security at its seven main housing projects in the city.
The funds will allow for the construction of a perimeter fence at the John DeShields homes, new exterior lighting at the same site, and security cameras at all seven of the authority's major properties. The authority will also be able to hire eight full-time security guards.
Amanda Vinicky contributed reporting from Springfield.
The director of the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources says his department will do all it can to keep the state's parks open after the failure of a $2 increase in license plate fees that would have provided a funding stream the the DNR.
But Marc Miller says he can't rule anything out, because the department has seen its budget slashed by 50 percent over the last decade.