Police Chief John Hayden meets with South City residents as homi - KMOV.com

Police Chief John Hayden meets with South City residents as homicide rate rises

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St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden and Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards took questions at a meet and greet in South City Monday. Credit: KMOV St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden and Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards took questions at a meet and greet in South City Monday. Credit: KMOV
SOUTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -

St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden and Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards took questions at a meet and greet in South City Monday.

“The city is a mess, a total mess, the crime running rampant,” said resident Ken Griffey.

Residents from Wards 11, 12 and 13 gathered at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church on Blow Street.

Crime and drugs were some of the top topics of the night.

The homicide rate in the city is on the rise compared to this time last year.

As of March 19, 37 murders have taken place in the city during 2018, compared to 32 at the same time in 2017.

“I think the murders that we’ve seen this year there is a strong drug nexus on many and so hey, we’re going to try and get people out of risky behavior,” said Hayden.

Hayden said those types of crimes are harder to prevent

Public Safety Director Edwards told the room their focus is on community policing, at all levels.

Drugs were another topic of the night.

This area is where a pilot program has launched. More than 50 First District officers have been trained and are carrying Narcan, a nasal spray that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

First District Captain Steven Mueller said now officers in the city’s other five districts will be trained on Narcan and how to use it over the coming months.

“It’s just understanding how to properly apply it, where to properly apply it and how to properly report it,” said Mueller.

Edwards also stressed the importance of calling 911 if you see a crime happen.

He said the ‘buck stops with me’ but that he can’t do the work alone.

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