ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Despite Saturday’s shooting on Washington Avenue downtown, Mayor Slay’s chief of staff says the popular downtown street is as safe as ever, thanks in part to the extra attention being paid to it by the St. Louis Police Department.

Jeff Rainford said that during the first phase of so-called “hot spot” policing between August and October, violent crime on and around Washington Avenue dropped 66.7 percent and property crimes were down 43.4 percent.

Rainford tells KMOX it’s one of the issues Slay is including in his interviews with police chief candidates.

“He’s going to want to see how they take this thing and, instead of having it be a special detail, have it implemented every single day because it’s had tremendous impact,” Rainford said.

A second phase of hot spot policing is now underway there and in other neighborhoods. Saturday’s shooting involved teenagers involved in a private party and did not include alcohol.

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