ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – Responding to a recently published The New York Times article called, In North St. Louis, Gunfire Still Rules the Night, St. Louis Alderman Antonio French says more can be done in his ward to control crime.

Listen to Alderman Antonio French’s interview with KMOX’s Mark Reardon:

Listen to Chief Sam Dotson’s interview with KMOX’s Mark Reardon:

French wants Chief Sam Dotson to assign police officers to watch more than two dozen cameras already set up in north St. Louis neighborhoods. A suggestion French says Dotson has refused to implement.

“I don’t believe it is an affective use of a police officer to sit there and monitor cameras,” Chief Dotson told KMOX’s Mark Reardon.

Dotson suggested neighborhood watch groups should rally around the idea and assign members of the neighborhood to watch the cameras.

“It’s something that the neighborhoods should get organized around. If somebody sees something on a camera they call 911,” he said, adding that the city is currently working on a ‘real time intelligence center’ where all cameras around St. Louis can be viewed in one location.

The only problem with Doston’s neighborhood watch idea stems from the fact that detectives have always had, and are currently having trouble with witnesses coming forward.

“We have a homicide clearance rate of about 60-percent,” said Dotson. “We could do better if we had better cooperation from witnesses.”

French said there is a reason witness don’t speak up. “Even if you do get that individual, you got relatives, family members, other gang members who you have to live next door to.”

Both were Dotson and French were guests of the Mark Reardon show.


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