For the past month or so officers across St. Louis have been engaged in a dramatic new plan to reduce crime in the city. Earlier this week the police department released data about how well it worked and the numbers indicate that there was a noticeable reduction in certain parts of the city.
Law enforcement officials released the results from a month long crime fighting plan that has been dubbed the "Homicide Deterrence Initiative." The plan was created following a period of sustained gun violence in the city. Over the summer, the police saw a huge rise in the number of aggravated assaults and felt the need to take action and bring the number of such incidents down.
The plan meant that police officers would be diverted from their usual posts, concentrating officers in certain parts of the city. It also meant that more officers were moved to the night shift, the time when many of the crimes were occurring. The plan focused resources on twelve high-crime locations over a 30-day trial period. During the initiative, 100 officers were transferred from working days to nights, 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. in the high crime areas. Police say around 50 officers will continue to work that same night shift instead of their usual dayshift to keep the momentum of the program going.
A University of Missouri-St. Louis criminology professor, Dr. Richard Rosenfeld, said that prior to the initiative crime in St. Louis was down compared to last year, but the number of aggravated assaults was up by about 15-20%. After the plan was put in place, it appears as if serious violent crimes have dropped by 68% in the designated high-crime areas when compared to the same period last year. The professor says that the data indicates aggravated assaults are still up, but now by only about eight percent.
The city has decided to give the police department an extra $250,000 to keep up a similar initiative though the exact plan has not yet been settled on. Police officials say that they will try out a few more options over the coming days before settling on an approach.
While a reduction in crime is great for everyone, we have to be aware of the costs of the recent plan. The worry is that all this extra police presence will cause officers to trample on the rights of innocent citizens in a rush to stamp out crime. If you've had a run in with the law and find yourself in need of a St. Louis criminal defense lawyer capable of fighting for your freedom, don't hesitate to contact our St. Louis criminal law firm today at (314) 863-0500.
See Our Related Blog Posts:
Need to record the police? There's an app for that
St. Louis Crime Lab Falls Further Behind