Missouri’s governor announced a $1 million grant on Wednesday, that’s aimed at expanding a violent crime de-escalation program in St. Louis.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson briefs reporters at the Wainwright State Office Building in St. Louis on September 9, 2020 (photo courtesy of the governor’s Flickr page)

Governor Mike Parson traveled to St. Louis to make the announcement, before heading back to Jefferson City to brief Capitol reporters on Wednesday afternoon. The governor says the program focuses on gun violence de-escalation.

“And today, we announced a $1 million grant to the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis to extend and expand the Servicing Our Streets Initiative,” Parson says.

The initiative utilizes trained specialists to build relationships with St. Louis residents in high-crime areas. The governor says the outreach workers develop real-time solutions for residents and serve as advocates to help in obtaining critical resources.

“So what we’re really trying to do is put people on the streets in those neighborhoods to deal with the situation there, to deal with the mental health issues along with social services,” says Parson.

St. Louis has had 192 homicides this year, including one victim who was killed in a Wednesday triple shooting, according to KMOV-TV.  The city had 194 homicides in all of 2019.

The governor says the grant will focus on community outreach and direct engagement with residents in the highest crime and poverty areas.

“If you get the right people out there in those neighborhoods and know what’s going on there, they go in there and try to de-escalate before you do have homicides and stuff,” Parson says. “So, that’s something we’ve been working on since 2019, we’re glad to be able to present it today.”

The governor also says the grant will provide resources to crime victims.

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