ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A plan to eliminate multiple St. Louis Police districts has been discussed by newly-appointed Police Chief Sam Dotson and while Mayor Francis Slay acknowledges reducing crime is paramount in St. Louis, he disputes the claim by political challenger, and Aldermanic Board President, Lewis Reed that more police officers are needed.
“Put more boots on the street. We need as many officers as we,” Reed said bluntly in a recent interview. “We need to make sure that at the end of the day, the thing that ends up being implemented is in the best interest of the people of the City of St. Louis. A lot of things that happen in City Hall, they have worked for some business, for some outsourcing companies, different things like that, but this needs to work for the people.”
But Slay says no changes can be implemented until the City takes control of the department from the state. “The Chief has asked, for efficiency reasons, he is looking at the number of districts. That will not negatively impact our law enforcement,” he said, adding that former Police Chief Dan Isom was also looking at reducing the number of police districts.
Slay contends that the elimination of districts will have a positive effect, allowing money to be spent where it needs to be. Reed, however, is less optimistic.
“I know I’ve heard the same thing that the officers have heard: elimination of districts and combining, all sorts of things of that nature,” Reed said. “I think we need to make sure we stay very vigilant.”