St. Louis chief seeks Highway Patrol help to fight crime
(Photo credit should read Joshua LOTT/AFP/Getty Images) By JOSHUA LOTT
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Facing an increase in violent crime, including homicides, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson has asked the Missouri State Highway Patrol to assist with policing work in the downtown area.
St. Louis police did not respond to interview requests, but patrol Capt. Tim Hull confirmed Wednesday that the city wants state officers to help with downtown patrols. He says the request is still under review.
"I've met with the Highway Patrol did meet the highway patrol. No decision has been made, just a conversation," Dotson said.
Maggie Crane, a spokeswoman for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, says the idea was among many under consideration to help reduce crime, but she indicated it is unlikely.
Dotson said state troopers helped St. Louis officers patrol city streets in the late 1990s. Dotson said only 10 or 12 troopers would be on patrol with city officers.
"What we are talking about is pairing a trooper with a city police officer," Dotson said.
While violent crime declined last year in many American cities, it rose sharply in St. Louis. The city recorded 159 homicides, the highest total since 2008. At least 15 killings have occurred already this year.
Dotson believes on a final decision will be made on whether the troopers will be added within the next 30 days.