ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department saw a drastic decrease in crime over the weekend as it implemented changes to help curb violence.
The police department last week said it would reassign officers and attack crime outbreaks.
The changes took effect for the first weekend since former St. Louis University volleyball Megan Boken was gunned down during an attempted robbery in the Central West End.
During the next 30 days, dozens of officers are being taken off their day shifts and moved to nights. Police say the more violent crimes occur between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m.
“These officers are patrolling very well defined areas where we believe we have the most chance, the most probability of preventing homicides or shootings,” said St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom.
Police are focusing on 12 neighborhoods. Two of them are in south St. Louis, two in Midtown and the remaining eight in north St. Louis, where the majority of crimes occur.
“I welcome this effort to target these areas where we know violent crimes occur and try and weed out some of those bad guys who are doing bad things,” said St. Louis 21st Ward Alderman Antonio French.
The 21st Ward is an area known for some of the city’s most violent crime.
“If the police work with these neighborhoods where they know violent crime occurs, to make a clear message known that we will not tolerate violent crime in this area, it will have a huge effect on the city,” French said.
Isom said the latest strategy is already having a positive effect.
“What we saw last weekend, as you reported on, was we had 10 shootings and two homicides. This past weekend we had two shootings,” Isom said.
The new plan is on a 30-day trial to see if the extra police presence makes a difference.