Big changes coming to downtown in an effort to fight crime - KMOV.com

Big changes coming to downtown in an effort to fight crime

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City of St. Louis (Credit: KMOV) City of St. Louis (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com)--- Big changes are coming to downtown Saint Louis in an effort to fight crime. The downtown city guides have helped visitors for years, but now new eyes and ears are are coming to the streets. 

"Really, this is to provide a more visible presence to help people feel safe and to know that they are safe," said President/CEO of Downtown STL, Missy Kelley. 

Kelley said secondary officers, which means they are hired by Downtown STL Inc., will work in shifts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

"They will be on foot and there to help, they are community based and will be part of our downtown for a while," she said. 

"I think it is a good idea. I mean, I haven't had any problems, I haven't been here long. I have had a few people tell me it is not as safe as it used to be. So anything that can make it safer for people to be out and enjoy their life," said Tamra Kaufman. 

The change to a bigger police presence downtown means 11 city guides lost their jobs.

"The police do bring a good presence to the area, but the guide people are nice and informative letting people know what is going on in the city," said Terelle Ferguson. 

Kelley said in the long run, this is what is best for downtown. 

"We really find that the perception of safety is not aligned with reality. People feel less safe than they really are. Crime is not as bad as we feel that it is at times," she said. 

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