St. Louis police chief responds to criticisms over park barricades

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on May 27, 2014 at 6:34 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 27 at 6:34 AM

(KMOV) – St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson on Monday responded to criticisms on how officers handled drivers cruising through Fairground Park.

Residents on Sunday told news 4 police barricades were set up around the park to keep cars from aimlessly cruising. Alderman Antonio French talked to News 4 about his concerns with the method.

“The answer is not just to say no one is welcome, put up barricades, and say no one can drive through the park,” French said.

Police had been receiving calls about many people cruising around in cars and congestion issues on Sundays at Fairground Park.

While butting up barricades deterred many from going in to the park at all, Dotson says his department has been using the strategy for five years to deter crime.

“Young people look for things to do, and so sometimes social media brings them together. When they come together, large groups of people, sometimes it overwhelms the neighborhood,” said Dotson.

Dotson said the measures are aimed at allowing other residents to enjoy the park.

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