St. Louis City has a problem. For too many people, their St. Louis Experience is one of violence and fear. That must change.
As of December 1st, 172 people had been murdered in St. Louis City and nearly 2,000 people had been shot.
The homicide number represents nearly a 60% increase over 2014, which itself saw an increase over 2013.
We've had a problem for a long time and it's getting worse.
Homicides are up nearly 60 percent over last year. The homicide total stood at 58 through the end of June last year, and stood at 92 through June of this year. There were 22 homicides in June this year compared to six in June 2014, which is a nearly 270 percent increase.
13,000 victims in last 5 years
There have been more than 13,000 people shot, murdered, or robbed at gun point in just the last 5 years in the City of St. Louis. By July 1, nearly 1,100 people had been shot in 2015 alone. At this rate, more than 2,000 people will be shot in St. Louis before Christmas.
Over the past decade, it has been the same neighborhoods that have been most plagued by violence and accounting for the majority of the city's homicides. These neighborhoods are made up of mostly poor, mostly black citizens and have been neglected for years by city government.
In 2013, the City of St. Louis regained control of its police department after 152 years of state-control. The state gained control over the police department in 1861 in a move aimed at thwarting Union sympathizers in St. Louis during the lead up to the Civil War. In November 2012, Missouri voters approved the return to local control. Kansas City’s police department is still controlled by a state board. [source]
“Local control will make our city better and safer for generations to come.”
— Mayor Francis Slay
Under local control, the police department is now under the control of the mayor, just like the Parks Department, the Health Department, SLATE, and others. One man now has control over all of these departments that have vital resources which could be used to improve the quality of life and reduce crime in neighborhoods. We have not, however, seen any level of coordination, cooperation, or information sharing with the goal of transforming communities. This is what we have been calling for since we first requested Mayor Slay develop a "comprehensive plan" to address rising violent crime in our city.
And so, on this website and using social media, we will pull together ideas to help St. Louis craft a truly comprehensive plan to fight violent crime and the conditions that lead to it. We call on Mayor Slay to then implement this plan. Absent of mayoral action, we will introduce legislation at the Board of Aldermen. But it is truly in the office of mayor that such a plan must be implemented. It is difficult to force a mayor to act if he doesn't want to. But for the sake of our city, if it comes to that, we will try.