ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- While federal officials prepare to help investigate St. Louis City crimes, one alderman says it’s about time they moved in since he asked the state for help last year.
Alderman Brandon Bosley requested state and federal help with the crime last year. Bosley said low police staffing and people’s emotions are just a few causes playing a factor in higher crime trends.
The alderman said he never received a response from his request last year.
“We’re not out there protecting our city, the police are, and the police are telling us they cannot do the job adequately right now because of the climate,” said Bosley.
That was the alderman’s reaction after city, state, and federal leaders announced 50 federal agents will be working in St. Louis through the federal government’s initiative called “Operation Legend.”
The city has violent crime task forces in place and these agents will join them and some will join the US Marshals fugitive task force to enforce federal warrants and arrest criminals.
"What 'Operation Legend' is, is not protection of federal buildings or federal properties, it's not riot police officers wearing fatigues," US Attorney Jeff Jensen said. "This is purely a violent crime effort and effort to reduce the terrible murder rate we have seen lately. Fifty-three murders in July in a city of 300,000 people."
Jensen was joined by Governor Parson, Mayor Lyda Krewson, Judge Jimmie Edwards, Attorney General Eric Schmitt and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief John Hayden, and partner agencies on Thursday for a press conference where they announced more details of the initiative.
Alderman Bosley said this move is long overdue.
Last year, his request to Governor Parson to bring in the National Guard to help with crime fell on deaf ears.
“Had the request been responded, there would totally be a different atmosphere in the city,” said Bosley.
So far this year his ward, Ward 3, has seen significant spikes in violent crime. Ward 3 is made up of the neighborhoods: College Hill, Fairground, Hyde Park, JeffVanderLou, O'Fallon, Old North St. Louis and St. Louis Place.
Bosley went on to speak about the community’s involvement in reducing crime. You can watch his passionate plea below.
Bosley said he hopes this move from the governor will lead to action.
“But if this is a political move we’re going to find out, because either work is going to get done, or you’re going to see a bunch of individuals doing a bunch of stuff that is unorganized and you will be voted out for it,” he said.
Jensen didn’t say how long these agents will be here. They will focus on murders and gangs.
You can watch the extended interview with Alderman Bosley below.