for a Safer St. Louis
The 2020 homicide rate in the City of St. Louis is the highest on record with 267 people killed. We have to take immediate and decisive action to bring down violence in our communities. We will never be able to grow, attract businesses, or improve the quality of life of our citizens without addressing this issue. That is why, as Mayor, I will implement a comprehensive data-driven strategy. With the ten steps I am putting forward, we will improve trust between communities and our police department, implement proven strategies to reduce violent crime, and ensure our emergency services are responsive when they are needed the most – the first year I’m in office.
Reducing Violent Crime and Homicides
- Focused Deterrence. This proven data-driven program has worked in cities across the nation and helped Oakland drop its homicide rate by 50% in just 6 years by targeting the small number of individuals at high-risk for being involved in violent crime. When we bring it to our city, I am confident we can drop our homicide rate by 30% in my first term.
- More Effective Policing. Re-organize current SLMPD staffing by merging and/or eliminating redundant entities, which will free up more officers to investigate violent crime, patrol our neighborhoods, and engage in proactive community policing.
- Maximize Intelligence. We cannot effectively solve crimes without a formal process for exchanging intelligence. The lack of a formal process to do so is frustrating to officers and the regional partners with whom SLMPD must collaborate. As Mayor, I will insist upon the adoption of a formal process for exchanging intelligence within our department, with other regional departments and with the general public. This will include feedback and accountability measures that will be tracked and published.
Public Safety Beyond Traditional Policing
- Answer ALL 911 calls. Currently over 25% of 911 calls are first answered by a recording. This is unacceptable. As Mayor, I will build a comprehensive 911 operating system to ensure all emergency calls are answered.
- Implement 311. This will divert routine inquiries and non-urgent concerns from 911 and transform citizen interaction with the Citizen Service Bureau. As Mayor, I will make sure St. Louis joins most major cities in offering a 311 service to its citizens.
- Invest in a Problem Landlord Unit. We will focus building inspections on bad actors and hold absentee property owners accountable by doubling the number of violations issued on non-owner-occupied units.
- Address Root Causes. As a city, we must invest in programs and strategies that will reduce crime long-term. As Mayor, I am committed to breaking down racial disparities outlined in the Racial Equity Indicators Report. We will improve access to addiction and mental health services, and develop a partnership with the providers who serve our unhoused.
Building Trust Within Our Communities
- Hire Licensed Clinical Social Workers. Social workers build trust and are effective in communities where victims and witnesses don’t trust the police to come forward with vital information to solve crimes. We will expand on the Behavioral Health and Cops and Clinicians programs to empower social workers to respond to problems of the homeless and other troubled populations, freeing up the police to address serious crime.
- Update Use-of-Force Policies. Clearly articulate commitment to reverence of life. We will work to implement enhanced de-escalation techniques and mandate transparency in use-of-force investigations.
- Create an Office of Equity and Inclusion. Appoint a chief equity officer to oversee all department policies and processes around recruitment, hiring, promotions, and discipline, and to make sure ongoing training and evaluation are carried out fairly, with equal opportunity for all genders, races, and ethnicities, and sexual orientations.
St. Louis can join the many cities nationally that have effectively reduced violent crime. Change must be rooted in transparency, accountability and decisive leadership, and that’s exactly what I will provide as Mayor.