Witnesses to Violent Crimes Could Relocate Under New Plan

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Witnesses to murders or other violent crimes in the city could be moved to a new home under a plan in the works to encourage more people to testify.

Lt. Colonel Ronnie Robinson says police are in talks with the prosecutor to craft a new witness protection program.

Robinson says they are discussing better ways to protect the identity of witnesses and move some to new addresses for their safety.

“Can you imagine how prosperous our city could be if we just try to get rid of our violence?” Robinson says. “If we focus on that, and the police department is … I think our city would prosper – there wouldn’t be a reason not to.”

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office already provides hotel rooms and sometimes permanent relocation for about a dozen criminal witnesses annually.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is seeking a state grant to expand the program of moving witnesses to a new address, so they’ll feel safe testifying in court.

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