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.
A network of street cameras designed to curb crime is getting some attention in St. Louis City Hall.
21st Ward alderman Antonio French claims the cameras have reduced violent crime in his north city ward by 80 percent.
“When we had 14 homicides in 2010, what had happened was that this was an area where criminals felt they could operate without fear of being arrested or being held to account,” French said. “The cameras changed that.”
The St. Louis Board of Commissioners have approved a plan to reduce the number of city police districts.
The city currently operates a total of nine districts that were established back in 1962.
But Police Chief Dan Isom says the department had twice as many officers back then and more than twice the number of citizens to serve.
“In the last 30 years we’ve lost about 1,000 officers,” Isom said. We used to have 2,200 officers, now we’re down to about 1,300 officers. But the slots for those command structures are still the same.”
St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom's budget proposal calls for cutting 50 officers through attrition, not layoffs. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Isom presented the budget Wednesday to the Board of Police Commissioners.
The department is faced with a $3.8 million shortfall. The city allocated $168 million to the department - a 3 percent increase over last year. But pension costs came in $5 million higher than anticipated.
Be prepared for extra security at Busch Stadium tonight
If you're going to Game One of the World Series tonight, expect it to take a little longer to get into Busch Stadium. In addition to added security due to the importance of the game, First Lady Michele Obama and Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Dr. Jill Biden, will be in attendance.
St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom says the department is coordinating security with the Secret Service and it will be a challenge.