Policing by the numbers - KMOV.com

Policing by the numbers

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(Credit: KMOV). (Credit: KMOV).

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) - St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson has been calling for more officers for years. News 4 took a look at the numbers, and the city is right on track with where it was twenty years ago.  As the population started to decline, so did the number of police officers.
 
The department currently employs about 1,300 officers. The chief said he's about 115 officers short and he wants to hire even more. The city's population has declined, now more than 315,000 people live in St. Louis, meaning there is one officer for every 237 residents.
 
The city has about the same ratio of officers to people today that it did in the 1990s.
 
In 1995, more than 360,000 people lived in the city of St. Louis. Chief Dotson said the department had about 1,600 officers at that time, which equates to one officer for every 230 residents.
 
Chief Dotson said he wants to see the number grow.

"At the peak of the metropolitan police department there were about 2,300 police officers so we're a full 1,000 officers below where we were in the 80's," he said.
 
Dotson has said he wants more officers to help fight crime, but crime is down overall in the past 20 years, including homicides.
 
In 1995, there were 219 homicide cases. In 2005, there were 188.
 
"In the last 20 years, our nation's crime has been decreasing not just in St. Louis but across the country. Crime in 10 years in St. Louis is down. We've reached a plateau right now and I think there's more room to push down in our crime statistics but we need more officers," said Dotson.
 
News 4 also checked on homicide numbers this year. So far, we've had 145 which is about where we were this time last year.

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