ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – With murder up 58 percent this year in the city, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson faced questions about whether his redistricting plan has spread officers too thin.
Dotson spoke before the Aldermanic Public Safety Committee, where Alderman Antonio French called redistricting a “failed policy.” French and other aldermen want more officers allocated to neighborhoods where most of the crime is taking place.
“I hear what you’re saying,” Dotson told them. “I still believe that the redistricting distributed the workload fair and equitably through the city. And through the city-wide resources, we have the ability to go in and problem-solve.”
Dotson said he’s planning to tweak the boundaries of the districts on the north edge of downtown, and in two north-side districts.
The chief also blamed the murder rate on city circuit court judges for low bonds and frequent probations, saying that puts criminals back on the street where they can commit more crimes.
Later Thursday afternoon, the owner of a billboard company plans to start a live-in vigil atop a billboard until the city has gone seven days without a killing.
When asked if seven days with murder is attainable, Dotson responded: “Absolutely it is possible. Murders are individual acts and individual decisions. It’s not people running around the city saying, ‘I’m going to go kill someone.'”
Dotson said he can’t recall what has been the longest stretch this year without a killing. With more than 90 murders so far, that’s an average of one murder every two days.
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