Law enforcement officers from around Missouri will join Governor Mike Parson (R) at the Capitol in Jefferson City on Wednesday afternoon, for a press conference about violent crime.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson briefs Capitol reporters in Jefferson City on July 14, 2020 (photo courtesy of the governor’s Flickr page)

During a Tuesday Capitol media briefing, the governor told Missourinet that his biggest concern is violent crime and homicides. He indicates he’ll be calling a special session about violent crime.

“Three and four-year-old kids getting shot and killed, shot in their homes, two people losing their lives last night. And just continuing on, we have to give the law enforcement officers the tools they need to fight violent crime,” Parson says.

The double homicide the governor referenced happened Monday night, near St. Louis University. The “St. Louis Post-Dispatch” reports 20-year-old Arie Bagsby and 21-year-old Omar Harris died, after being shot multiple times. The newspaper reports the two victims had been inside an SUV that police found riddled by bullets.

Governor Parson says the sooner that state lawmakers can return to Jefferson City, the better. He says he will talk more about it on Wednesday.

He also says it’s important to stand up for law enforcement officers, saying they are “maxed out” from protests and other events. He says officers need to focus on violent crime.

There have been 125 homicides this year in St. Louis, and 101 in Kansas City.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas (D) requested that the governor call a special session about crime earlier this month, saying his city was at a “crisis point.”

The “Kansas City Star” has reported that 2020 is on pace to be the city’s deadliest year on record. Mayor Lucas has called for increased funding for witness protection, and also wants more tools for law enforcement to be able to interrupt conspiracies to commit murder.

A key proposal in the governor’s January State of the State Address was about $1 million in funding for witness protection, in an effort to battle increasing violence in urban cities.

Despite bipartisan support in both the Missouri Senate and House, the measure did not pass this year.

Governor Parson will brief Capitol reporters Wednesday afternoon at 1:30. He’ll be joined by state Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Sandy Karsten, Missouri State Highway Patrol Colonel Eric Olson and Missouri law enforcement officers.

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