Mayor Francis Slay today announced that he will seek additional funding to support St. Louis police and the Circuit Attorney in the fight against violent crime.
"I have asked Chief Isom to allow his officers to aggressively target thugs, criminals and disruptive behavior," Slay said. "The early results for his Homicide Deterrence Initiative are encouraging. The department will continue with that initiative. In the meantime, I am going to seek additional resources to expand our new hot spot policing initiative."
Mayor Slay will seek approval from the Board of Estimate and Apportionment (E&A) to transfer $300,000 from the Division of Corrections budget. Of that amount, $250,000 will go for police overtime for hot spot policing, and $50,000 to the Circuit Attorney to buy technology to engage neighborhoods to help prosecute cases.
Hot spot policing is one of the most successful national crime reduction strategies. Using nearly real-time data, police increase patrols in specific high crime hot spots to stop crime before it happens. This summer, the City tried hot spot policing in 32 locations on a trial basis. The results were encouraging enough that it is going to be expanded. Its effectiveness is being independently evaluated with the assistance of UMSL's Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.
The mayor also expressed his gratitude for police officers' willingness to confront dangerous criminals to keep the rest of us safe. "As we saw with the shooting of one of our officers last week, our officers are putting themselves in harm's way to help us. We need to support our police department.
Per the Circuit Attorney, one of the most effective tools for fighting crime is community engagement. The Circuit Attorney has proposed using information technology to increase her ability to reach out to engage the community in the criminal justice system.
In the coming weeks, Mayor Slay also plans to announce new investments to reduce crime by giving young people more to do after school and on weekends.