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St. Louis Receives IBM “Smarter Cities” Grant

Brett Blume
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(l-r) St. Louis police chief Dan Isom, Mayor Francis Slay, and IBM Sr. Executive Dan Hebrank make the announcement Friday at St. Louis city hall.  (KMOX/Brett Blume)

(l-r) St. Louis police chief Dan Isom, Mayor Francis Slay, and IBM Sr. Executive Dan Hebrank make the announcement Friday at St. Louis city hall. (KMOX/Brett Blume)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  St. Louis teams up with computing giant IBM to try and streamline and upgrade the city’s public safety operations.

“This will help the St. Louis police department catch the worst offenders, our circuit attorney to vigorously prosecute, and our judges to have the evidence necessary for maximum sentencing,” Mayor Francis Slay said during a press conference Friday morning at City Hall, with police chief Dan Isom and IBM Sr. Executive Dan Hebrank by his side.

Late last year, St. Louis was one of hundreds of cities to apply for an IBM Smarter Cities Grant.

It was one of only 24 cities worldwide to qualify for the grant.

The city’s application suggested that IBM look into one of four topics:  sustainability, information technology (IT), education or public safety.

IBM decided to devote its resources to examining and improving public safety.

Starting this week and continuing over the next two weeks, teams of specially selected IBM experts will work toward providing city leaders with recommendations to support improved efficiency and effectiveness in law enforcement and public safety.

“We selected St. Louis because of its commitment to the use of data to make better decisions and for its desire to explore and act on smarter solutions to their most pressing concerns,” said Jennifer Crozier, director of IBM Corporate Citizens & Corporate Affairs.

And if the findings suggest that IBM’s super-smart computer WATSON — who recently cleaned up against two super-smart human opponents on “Jeopardy” — should be named St. Louis’ new mayor?

“If that’ll help public safety, I will bow to WATSON,” a chuckling Mayor Slay answered.

Copyright KMOX Radio

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