ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson has given more details on a proposal that would reduce the city’s nine police districts, perhaps to about six.
The current set-up was drawn decades ago and was mandated by the state of Missouri. According to Dotson those districts don’t “fit the model of the city anymore,” some neighborhoods are slashed in between multiple districts and staffing isn’t even.
So how will Chief Dotson draw the new districts. He says he’ll keep a few things in mind:
“Based on neighborhood integrity, keeping neighborhoods together, based on workload, based on geography as much as we can, and then distributing officers as equally as we can throughout the city.”
A big question we asked Dotson was instead of new districts does the city need more boots on the ground? The answer, not really.
“Per capita we’re staffed very heavy. As a police chief if you asked me, if you had an extra couple million dollars, if I’d take more officers? Absolutely. But we also have to look at technologies, for an example, License Plate Recognition systems, cameras, G.P.S.”
He adds that he’s asking everyone in the department to come up with efficiencies that give officers more time to focus on what’s important: fighting crime.
Later this year the City of St. Louis will gain back control of their police department and everything will be on the table.