Concerns of downtown safety increases as Cardinals' home opener - KMOV.com

Concerns of downtown safety increases as Cardinals' home opener approaches

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(AP Images) (AP Images)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – After a man was found shot to death in his car near the Old Courthouse on April 3, safety downtown is on everyone’s mind.

On April 11, streets will be filled downtown with Cardinals fans celebrating Opening Day with significant law enforcement presence.

"There was a murder at the Old Courthouse last night [April 3]. You think about things like that. You've gotta be careful," said Craig Ford, Cardinals fan.

To help make people feel safe downtown, police say they will use LED lighting.

"It is going to feel a lot brighter and it will be brighter. We will also have a decorative element to the light to help give a sense of place and light up specific pathways that we encourage people to take as they walk to and from events," said Missy Kelley, President and CEO of Downtown St. Louis, INC.

Downtown already has a handful of license plate recognition cameras and Kelley says fundraising is in the works to get 30 more.

"This has been a really helpful tool in helping police in solving crime. But ultimately, we hope this will send a message to the bad guys, realize that this is a place that you will get caught," said Kelley.

Compared to the same time frame in 2015, police say total crime downtown is down 13 percent from January 1 to April 3.

With all eyes on Busch Stadium, fans say it makes them feel even better heading into Opening Day.

"This [Busch Stadium] is the jewel downtown. If they don't come downtown for this [Busch Stadium], they won't come downtown," said Ford.

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