JEFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol is turning down a request for its troopers to help police in downtown St. Louis.
Patrol Col. Ron Replogle said Monday that his agency doesn't have the funding to use its officers to help patrol the city streets.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson had asked the patrol for 10-12 officers who could work alongside city police as part of a response to a recent increase in violent crime.
Replogle told members of the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee that he looked at the possibility of providing eight officers to work from now through summer. But he decided against it because of finances.
Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer said St. Louis police need to figure out their own solution to local crime problems.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson released the following statement regarding the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s decision:
"I have a great deal of respect for the Missouri State Highway Patrol. It was my hope they would be able to get around budget issues, as it would have been a great opportunity for their agency and the officers of the Metropolitan Police Department to work side by side. Although they are not able to join us, the department is continuing to implement strategies in Downtown St. Louis, as well as in other parts of the City, to reduce crime. Last week's hot-spot policing efforts in Downtown and the neighborhoods north of Downtown were successful, with 71 arrests made and 6 guns recovered. Our efforts in maintaining a safe community for people to live, work and visit is and always will be our number one priority.?"