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Residents Pledge Support in Fighting Violent Crime

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St. Louis police met with residents of a north St. Louis neighborhood to discuss strategies on fighting violent crime on February 2, 2013 (KMOX/Brad Choat)

St. Louis police met with residents of a north St. Louis neighborhood to discuss strategies on fighting violent crime on February 2, 2013 (KMOX/Brad Choat)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Residents, lawmakers, and police, fed up with recent deadly violence in north St. Louis are joining forces to do something about it.

Twenty-first ward alderman Antonio French brought together those groups for a community meeting, Saturday, where it became clear from all involved that everyone plays a role in preventing the violence.

An audience member named Lucretia said, “If they’re in the dope house, I’ve got to go in the dope house. If they’re on the corner prostituting, I’ve got to go in the alley and get them. I’ve got to meet the people where they’re at. They’re not going to come to me. I’ve got to go out there and help save them. Somebody saved me.”

Audience member Prince Carter asked that all persons attending the meeting pledge to give one hour a week to a grassroots effort to stop the violence, “We can’t fix this problem that has grown over the years, in one meeting, in one night. It’s going to take like-minded people working together on a strategic front to address these ills and bring about overdue change.”

St. Louis Police Major Ronnie Robinson urged residents to not just report criminal activity, but dirty cops as well. His message to officers: “You can’t sit on the fence and be in the middle. Either you’re going to be the police or you’re going to be a gangster, a bum, or whatever. But, you’re not going to be the police and sell dope, mistreat people, and not be professional. You’re just not going to do it.”

The College Hill neighborhood has been hit hard recently by gang activity, including several shootings and murders.

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