ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office would receive new funding to encourage people to help solve crimes in their neighborhood, under a plan before the Board of Aldermen.

Aldermanic President Lewis Reed says the package includes money for an “outreach program” to get more people to testify in court. He says the program will help to build relationships with the community.

“We know right now part of our issue of getting to the bottom of some of the open murders within the City of St. Louis, is that the community is not coming forward,” Reed says.

The almost $400,000 boost in annual funding would also pay for a diversion program to move first-time, nonviolent offenders into social programs instead of prison.

“We know it’s important to have a diversion program in place to get them focused on more positive activities, instead of having them go straight through the juvenile justice system and ending up a career criminal,” Reed says.

The bill is expected to gain final passage on Friday.

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