2 min read
Posted on 07.17.08
  • 2 min read
  • Posted on 07.17.08

In a report to the Police Board this week, Chief Joe Mokwa offered some context (and support) for his recent statement that St. Louis is generally safer — a double digit decrease again this year — than it has been in years.

One thing he did was to show us how St. Louis compares to other cities around the country.

The image below is the first of three that makes the comparisons.

The Cities on the right side of the slide are ones that are currently experiencing increases in Total Crime. Places like Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and Chicago all show increases in Total Crime.

The second image below shows Property Crime and tells a very similar story. St. Louis continues to show some of the largest decreases among the cities listed. St. Louis’s percentage decrease is greater than Los Angeles, Baltimore, New York — and certainly better than the increases in Atlanta, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

The third image shows Violent Crime. St. Louis, in red, with its 8.2 percent decrease in violent crimes, is doing better than cities like New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Kansas City.

Unfortunately not all the Chief’s news was good. St. Louis continues to be plagued by homicides.

Last week, the police department announced it would focus a large percentage of its available uniformed and tactical resources on two of the most violent areas in the City. The plan is to deter the most violent crimes by applying the department’s superior tactical and logistical skills against the worst offenders in the places they are most likely to operate.

By some of the early measures, including arrests made and citations issued, the Homicide Deterrence Initiative is working. It is too soon, though, to know if homicides and other violent personal crimes are being affected.