St. Louis County Police Chief Timothy Fitch announced Tuesday that more police officers will be on the street. Not laid off, but on duty.
Thirty-eight police positions including three sergeants, two detectives and thirty-three officers have been deployed for additional coverage, special enforcement teams and as Juvenile Policing Officers, to enhance the Youth Violence Iniative started in January of 2009.
Chief Fitch stated, "Prior to becoming Chief of Police I attended many citizen functions where I was able to interact with the public and learn what they wanted from their police department. Overwelmingly the reponse that I received is that people want to see police cars and officers in their neighborhoods and improved response time to calls. One of the first things I did after becoming Chief was to sit down with my Commanding Officers and evaluate every position in our Department, over 1,000 employees, to ascertain if their assignment was the most efficient and effective use of the individual".
Chief Fitch added, "Through a very thorough process involving all supervisors from the Department we were able to refine postions from our Division of Criminal Investigation, Division of Special Operations and detached assignments allowing the officers to be placed back in the precincts. In addition, we were able to hire 14 new officers in 2009 to support the Youth Violence Initiative recommended by St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley. The addition of these officers will improve our response time and will be a visual presence that the public wants to see".