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Police Start Second Phase of ‘Hot Spot’ Plan in North Side Neighborhoods

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St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson talks to officers on October 24, 2013.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson talks to officers on October 24, 2013.

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The so-called “hot spot policing” effort aimed at cleaning up north St. Louis’ troubled Fountain Park and Lewis Place neighborhoods has entered a new phase.

After phase one saw police officers make 23 arrests resulting in 70 charges, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson says the second phase involves problem property and neighborhood stabilization officers joining the effort.

“We’re going to go door-to-door on some lots and offer services. There are board-up crews out today boarding up vacant or abandoned buildings and identifying problems we can address as a city,” Dotson explained.

Hot spot policing has been highly touted by city leaders as a way to turn around troubled neighborhoods on the city’s north side. It involves an influx of officers and resources into a neighborhood, meant to send a message to would-be criminals.

“We’ve gone in and addressed some of the criminal elements. Now, let’s go back behind and improve the quality of life and leave the neighborhood a little bit better than we found it,” Dotson added.

The chief says that even with much focus on the World Series, the department still has the resources to focus on hot spot policing in the neighborhoods. He said Thursday that he still sees the residual effects of a similar effort in the College Hill neighborhood which took place in the spring.

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