A video that shows two St. Louis police department officers striking a man has once again put the spotlight on the fraught interaction between police and the mentally ill.
The man, Mario Crump, has a history of mental illness. His family had called police for assistance because he was acting erratically. It’s not clear what happened before and after the 40-second video, which was shot by a family member. The incident happened March 21 at Crump's house in the 4300 block of Lee.
The St. Patrick's Day Parade marked the first time the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department relied on a single, statewide radio network to communicate with each other. And, according to all parties, the experience was a success.
Since 1962, the city of St. Louis has, by state law, had nine police districts.
Reducing that number has been a priority of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson since he took the job last January. In April, voters turned control of the police department back to the city, giving Dotson the authority to make that change - one he said made based on the data.
Since 4:00 a.m. today, officers have been patrolling in six districts instead of nine.
Updated at 4:30 p.m. with quotes from Chief Sam Dotson and 2013 neighborhood data.
Despite an increase in the number of homicides, crime was down more than 5 percent overall in the city of St. Louis last year.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department released its final numbers for 2013 today. Violent crimes — those committed against individuals— were down by more than 10 percent, while property crimes dropped more than 4 percent.
Police Chief Sam Dotson, left, and Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce look on as Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson talks about the city's "no refusal" policy with drunk drivers. Prosecutors will now seek warrants to draw blood if somebody refuses a breath test.
The end of state control of the St. Louis Police Department was literally centuries in the making. But St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the change hasn’t been obvious to city residents.
And that, he said, is a good thing.
“Local control has been a significant step for the metropolitan police department,” Dotson said. “And really, you haven’t noticed anything. It’s been seamless and transparent like it was supposed to be.”
A long-running legal battle over whether records of internal St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department investigations are subject to Missouri's Sunshine Law will continue for possibly another six months.
A local union is protesting a sub-contractor working on St. Louis’ new police headquarters. Local 1 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers opposes Thomas Ruzicka who has been convicted of embezzling more than $100,000 from former employees.
The union's business manager Frank Jacobs says Ruzicka is a license holder for R E Contracting that is handling about $1.2 million worth of electrical work for the downtown building.
It’s been a good first six months on the job for St. Louis Metropolitan Police chief Sam Dotson when it comes to crime numbers.
Compared to the same period last year, overall crime in the city is down more than 7 percent in the first half of 2013. Crimes against persons, like homicides and assaults, are down 20 percent. And most crimes are trending well below five-year averages, though Dotson says he is concerned about an uptick in burglaries in recent weeks.