St. Louis Metropolitan Police

Police Redistricting
5:00 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Police Chief Dotson: Balancing Workload Prompted Reduction In Districts

Since 4 am on Jan. 21, police in St. Louis have patrolled in six districts - down from nine.
Credit (St. Louis Metropolitan Police)

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.

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Crime In St. Louis
1:22 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Crime Down Overall In St. Louis, But Homicides Rise

(via Flickr/alancleaver_2000)

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.

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Crime
11:36 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Police Chief Calls Transition To Local Control 'Seamless'

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.
Credit Bill Greenblatt/UPI

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.”

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Technology In Law Enforcement
5:00 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Inspector Gadget? The Role Of Tech For St. Louis-Area Police

An old police call box on display at the St. Louis Police Officer's Association. Officers used this to check in with the station while out on their beats.
Credit (Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon)

The technology available to a police officer on the beat has come a long way from a pen and a notebook.

Thanks to in-car computers, police now have the internet and sophisticated databases at their fingertips. Cameras can find a specific license plate or reduce the need for eyewitnesses.

But the speed at which the changes are taking place has even those using the technology concerned.

As a narcotics officer in Jefferson County in the mid-1990s, Jeff Roorda was a rock star when he got a bag phone

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St. Louis Police
4:02 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Case Over Police Discipline Records For Misuse Of World Series Tickets Continues

The logo of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department as displayed on a patrol car.
(St. Louis Public Radio)

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.

Here's a timeline of the case:

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Business
6:49 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Union Opposes Police HQ Contractor With Criminal Past

Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1 protest outside the future headquarters of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
John R Kahrhoff IBEW Local 1

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. 

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Car Break-Ins
2:00 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

St. Louis Police Keeping Wary Eye On Spike In Larcenies

(via Flickr/raleighwoman)

Though crime overall continues to drop in the city of St. Louis, the city’s police department remains concerned about an ongoing spike in car break-ins .

Larcenies are up 2 percent across the city compared to last year, driven by a 7.5 percent jump in car break-ins across the same period.

Read the complete crime report here.

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Crime Numbers
4:57 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Good News On St. Louis City Crime Numbers For First Half Of 2013

(via Flickr/alancleaver_2000)

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.

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Law Enforcement
2:14 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

St. Louis City, County Police Merge Bomb And Arson Squads

County police chief Tim Fitch (L) chats with his city counterpart Sam Dotson before city police commissioners voted to approve a merger of their bomb and arson squads.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The bomb and arson units in St. Louis city and County are joining forces on July 1 - the latest merger between the two largest police departments in the region.

The 10 officers will still be employees of their own departments, but will now respond to calls throughout the region in two, eight-hour shifts. The arrangement, said St. Louis city police chief Sam Dotson, should almost eliminate overtime costs.

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Teacher Charged
2:22 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Teacher At Soldan High Charged With Sexual Misconduct

David Marler, a math teacher at Soldan International Studies High School, has been accused of sexual misconduct with a student.
(Provided/St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department)

Updated with receipt of statement from SLPS.

A math teacher at Soldan International Studies High School in St. Louis is facing 11 criminal counts for allegedly having sexual contact with a student at the school.

Thirty-two-year-old David Marler is being held on a $250,000 cash bond on felony statutory sodomy, child endangerment, and sexual contact with a student charges. Police are investigating the possibility that there were other victims, and are encouraging parents or students to call 314-444-5385.

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