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Mokwa offers crime stats, plan of action

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – St. Louis Police Chief Joe Mokwa presented the city's crime statistics to the Board of Police Commissioners Wednesday, as well as several initiatives to bring the crime rate down.

The crime rate rose in St. Louis by nearly six percent in 2006 over the previous year.

Chief Mokwa says that's part a trend across the region and nation.

But he says the department intends to tackle crime here with tools like the new Crime Suppression Unit. More than 50 officers began working last week in the special unit that will move from neighborhood to neighborhood.

He says already they're making progress.

"In the last 24 hours they made a number of arrests, number of people were on probation and parole, several guns seized, stolen autos seized," Mokwa said. "They're recovering a number of stolen autos every night and a number of guns off the streets every night."

The police chief also pointed to a new crime mapping program and the reorganization of several leadership posts announced earlier.