ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – It’s a familiar refrain from local leaders: St. Louis unfairly tops all those most dangerous city lists, because other cities get to combine their crime stats with the suburbs and St. Louis doesn’t.
County Police Chief Tim Fitch cites Louisville, Ky., Indianapolis, Ind., Charlotte, N.C., and Jacksonville, Fla. as metropolitan areas which have merged police departments and, as such, get to report combined crime statistics.
They also enjoy the side perk of dropping like a rock on the lists.
Chief Fitch tells KMOX News that he and city Police Chief Sam Dotson plan to lobby the FBI to let St. Louis merge stats as well, but without having to actually merge departments.
But don’t expect immediate results.
“We believe because of the way the eighty-year-old FBI rule is written they’re going to tell us ‘no’ initially ,” Fitch said. “Then we need to find out how do we change this rule? How do we make it more accurate?”
The Chief said he’s getting involved “because it’s the right thing to do for the community. If we can attract more jobs to the St. Louis region because we’re reporting crime more accurately instead of landing on this list every year, that’s good for jobs in the St. Louis area, that’s good for tourism in Missouri, and I think that alone makes it worth us looking into this.”
Chief Dotson stresses that talks are in the early stages.
“I think it makes sense and it puts St. Louis on the same competitive plain as other parts of the country,” Dotson told KMOX.
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