ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Going after the area where he says most violent crime is happening, newly appointed St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden is drawing a rectangle around an area he’s calling “Hayden’s Rectangle.”
Bounded by West Florissant to the north, Dr. Martin Luther King to the south, and Vandeventer and Goodfellow to the east and west — the zone will get more police resources to lower violent crime.
“It’s just a place where a lot of consistent violent crime occurs,” Hayden said, “and I’m going to allow our special ops, our anti-crime units, our mobile reserve teams, to be inside of that area. And we’re going to focus on open drug sales.”
Hayden spoke with KMOX in the lobby of city hall, where he was asked about a bill introduced by Board President Lewis Reed calling for a public safety plan to identify crime-fighting strategies, and ways to increase public cooperation with police and prosecutors.
Hayden says he supports the idea of having a plan, and says the planning is already underway.
“I welcome the board’s input on the crime plan that I’ve devised, and we met with some of our federal partners last Friday, and at a soon-coming public safety committee meeting, I’ll be able to explain my plan to the Board of Aldermen,” Hayden said.
Hayden also agrees with the need for more public help in fighting crime.
“We have to get them talking to the police more,” Hayden said, “and so I think of lot of our community engagement activities — that’s a part of my plan — will allow people to come forward more. And then, of course, testifying in court is another issue, so what we’re doing is we want them to help us solve violent crime.”