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'Comprehensive crime plan' targets 15 St. Louis neighborhoods

Crime plan neighborhoods December 2015
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Shortly before the St. Louis Board of Aldermen started to debate the city’s portion of a financial package for a new National Football League stadium, Alderman Antonio French, D-21st Ward and Mayor Francis Slay tweeted about a new comprehensive crime plan.

Though crime and the Rams are not logically connected, they have been linked. As St. Louis Public Radio reported last week, Alderman French voted to send the financing bill out of committee after an amendment was attached that provided a multi-faceted minority inclusion plan. And he said, "I am taking the mayor’s chief of staff at her word that we will complete our negotiations on a comprehensive [crime] plan before the final vote," French said.

The plan is here.

The city will be targeting 15 out of the city’s 79 neighborhoods with a two-year plan that will put additional resources into these areas.

The neighborhoods are Gravois Park, Dutchtown, Bevo Mill, Baden, Walnut Park West, Mark Twain, Mark Twain 1-70 Industrial, Penrose, O’Fallon, Hyde Park, Wells Goodfellow, Kingshighway West, Greater Ville, Jeff Vanderlou and West End.

Each will get a dedicated neighborhood police officer; and where large parks exist, a park ranger will be assigned. The plan also calls for more homicide detectives and an increase in the number of surveillance cameras. This year has seen more than 180 murders and no arrest has been made in more than 50 percent of them.

Attempts to prevent crime and increase safety include assigning the Forestry Department to focus on keeping public areas and alleys clean, adding five SLATE offices to help people find jobs and increasing activities for youth.

Some efforts will need aldermanic support, such as funding for more police.

In a blog post, Slay wrote: “The state’s judges and prosecutors who serve the city will also have roles. As we give them greater assurance that we are doing everything we can on our side, we will ask prosecutors to use the alternative programs and community resources we are providing and will need dedicated court dockets that swiftly move dangerous people off the streets and into the state’s facilities and programs.”

Donna Korando started work in journalism at SIU’s Daily Egyptian in 1968. In between Carbondale and St. Louis Public Radio, she taught high school in Manitowoc, Wis., and worked at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the copy editor and letters editor for the editorial page from 1973-77. As an editorial writer from 1977-87, she covered Illinois and city politics, education, agriculture, family issues and sub-Saharan Africa. When she was editor of the Commentary Page from 1987-2003, the page won several awards from the Association of Opinion Page Editors. From 2003-07, she headed the features copy desk.