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.
It’s estimated that there are more guns in America than people, and St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch is defending his idea that arming school personnel should be considered when discussing ways to improve school safety.
Speaking to St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh today, Fitch acknowledged that there are serious concerns about his proposal.
But, the police chief also said he hasn’t heard any other ideas for how to address what he said is a critical gap in time when someone starts shooting and police can respond.
For the past year, St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch and community organizations have held nearly two dozen town hall meetings to raise awareness of the heroin epidemic. Deaths from heroin overdoses continue to decline, but officials say they are seeing an uptick in some age groups.
Through September of this year there have been 45 heroin deaths in St. Louis County, that’s compared to 55 last year.
St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie Bierach sat down with Chief Fitch to talk about their efforts to go after heroin suppliers.