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Prosecutors, homicide detectives work together at crime scenes in St. Louis City

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St. Louis City Police investigate a triple shooting that involved two women and a teenager. St. Louis City Police investigate a triple shooting that involved two women and a teenager.

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Prosecutors for St. Louis City are working to create a closer partnership with police after an uptick in violent crime throughout the area.

St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said that in April prosecutors began going to homicide scenes with detectives.

“Gun violence is the number one challenge the City of St. Louis is facing right now,” said Joyce.

The new rule is that when detectives are called out for a homicide, the on-call prosecutor also responds. While detectives work to collect evidence to solve the crime, the lawyer interviews witnesses and collects evidence that will hold up in court. Giving prosecutors the opportunity to talk to witnesses helps to speed up the process in getting a search warrant, Joyce told News 4.

“I think the police have been frustrated with the amount of cases that they've been able to carry through with a successful prosecution, and that we could really impact that if we could right there with the detectives in the middle of the night when a homicide occurs,” Joyce said.

Capt. Michael Sack, the Commander of Crimes Against Persons, said homicide detectives have been working overtime because of the increase in violent crime across the area. He said homicide investigations can take weeks but with prosecutors responding to the scenes it helps to speed up the process.

“Normally, we'd have to get all that work done on the scene, come in, explain it to them and find our witnesses,” Capt. Sack said. “As you can imagine, witnesses aren't always easy to be found, because some of them don't want to be found.”

The Circuit Attorney told News 4 this is not some type of passing fad but is a way prosecutors will handle homicides moving forward.

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