A network of street cameras designed to curb crime is getting some attention in St. Louis City Hall.
21st Ward alderman Antonio French claims the cameras have reduced violent crime in his north city ward by 80 percent.
“When we had 14 homicides in 2010, what had happened was that this was an area where criminals felt they could operate without fear of being arrested or being held to account,” French said. “The cameras changed that.”
The St. Louis Board of Commissioners have approved a plan to reduce the number of city police districts.
The city currently operates a total of nine districts that were established back in 1962.
But Police Chief Dan Isom says the department had twice as many officers back then and more than twice the number of citizens to serve.
“In the last 30 years we’ve lost about 1,000 officers,” Isom said. We used to have 2,200 officers, now we’re down to about 1,300 officers. But the slots for those command structures are still the same.”