ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – This year’s most effective tool in fighting crime may be losing steam. Money given to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for “hot spot policing” is running out.
The crime-fighting technique started out as a special operation that city officials now want to make permanent after seeing how affective it can be.
It involves placing officers in area neighborhoods known for some of the city’s most violent crimes.
“And the areas where we did do the hot spot policing, crime was down like 40 percent compared to areas where we did not have it,” said Jeff Rainford, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay’s chief of staff.
That’s why city officials say it’s crucial police department finds the money to keep it up.
They were given $30,000 back in August when the initiative first started. That money’s expected to last through the end of the year.
Officials said the new police chief will be responsible for finding the money to keep it going.
“We have plenty of money, we spend about a quarter of a billion dollars a year on law enforcing, the city police budgets $170 million. That’s plenty of money and plenty of police officers,” said Rainford.
Statistics show the crime-fighting measure works. Crime is down overall citywide nearly 13 percent from this time last year.
Police began using “hot spot policing” after 23-year-old Megan Boken was killed during a robbery attempt in the Central West End over the summer.
From July through August, homicides dropped 26 percent and aggravated assaults decreased 13 percent.