St. Louis officers to change schedules, shift focus to violent crimes

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 23 at 10:40 PM

ST. LOUIS, Mo.(KMOV.com) – The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is introducing a system where crime reports, in regards to lesser crimes, can be taken over the phone instead of dispatching an officer.

According to a press release sent out on Thursday, the department is implementing the new procedure in an effort to keep officers on the street focused on violent crimes.

Calls for attempted theft or theft of a vehicle, attempted theft or theft from a motor vehicle or stolen license plates and tabs from a vehicle will be routed to the department’s Telephone Reporting Unit.  For these cases, an officer will not be dispatched, but the crimes will continue to be investigated by the detective bureau.

While this means slower response times for non-violent incidents, residents are behind the plan.

“I think that’s great because the people who aren’t committing crimes are actually getting stopped for like not having a license plate, things of that nature," said resident Emanuel Kemp. "So I think if they focus on more major crimes it will probably take most of those people off the street.”

Additionally, the department will be adjusting police officer work schedules and patrol areas in order to maximize officer street presence in the areas that are most affected by violent crime and during times of maximum call volume.

After a string of robberies in some of the cities most popular neighborhoods, police are making drastic changes, like taking officers off their day shifts and moving them to nights.

“We are working very hard to put officers into places where we think it might occur and to follow up on leads to try and get individuals in custody who are responsible,” said Police Chief Dan Isom.

The department did not say when the new procedure will be activated, but for some St. Lousians, the changes can't cont soon enough.

"Do it. Whatever it takes get them and do it," said resident Travis Cox. "I'm behind them 100 percent."

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