Crime-fighting initiative underway in St. Louis

A new program is in place to reduce violent crime in the city of St. Louis. Governor Eric Greitens was in north St. Louis on Monday afternoon, where he joined St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, members of law enforcement and community and faith-based leaders, to announce details of a safety plan.

The plan consists of federal, state, and local resources aimed at making the streets of St. Louis safer. A special operations unit of the Missouri State Highway Patrol will include 20 to 30 troopers patrolling city interstates for the next 90 days.

“They will continue to assist local law enforcement to suppress violent crime on our highways.” Greitens said. “I was riding with these men and women. Every one of them volunteered. And in their first night alone, they had dozens of felony arrests, drug stops, and took drunk drivers off the streets.”

Photo courtesy of Jill Enders

The state of Missouri is also deploying a special team of police officers to combat drug trafficking. In addition, for the first time in the state’s history, the Missouri Department of Public Safety will assign resources to the FBI and the DEA in an effort to ensure effective investigations and apprehend the most violent offenders.

‘Part of the problem in St. Louis is that people have come to believe that nothing can be done. The people with me today, the people here, we refuse to accept that. The only things that are unacceptable to us are excuses and inaction.” Greitens said.

“We don’t have a crime problem, we have a crime crisis.” said St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson.

The Governor’s announcement wasn’t well received by all. State Rep. Michael Butler, D-St. Louis, criticized the governor’s plan.

A group of about 20 demonstrators protested over the reversal of the city’s minimum wage hike. This year, state lawmakers passed a measure prohibiting local minimum wages and nullifying any already in effect. Michael McPherson says violent crime would not be as high if wages were better.The demonstrators, at times, made it difficult to hear Greitens speech with their heckling and chanting.

By Missourinet Contributor Jill Enders