Feds, Local Authorities Start Joint Violent Crime Unit In St. Louis


Federal agents in St. Louis are joining with city police to form a new team aimed at stopping murders and other violent crimes by zeroing in on those most likely to commit them, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Police Chief Dan Isom called the new Violent Offender’s Unit a historic relationship between local and federal authorities. Chuck Wexler of the Police Executive Research Forum said such partnerships can produce great results. “Everyone brings different assets to the table. When you have them working together, you get the best of both worlds,” Wexler said. “It could have a pretty profound effect on crime in the city of St. Louis.”

Violent crime in the city dropped 3.5 percent last year, but homicides increased by 21 percent. St. Louis ended the year with 167 murders, the highest number since 204 people were slain in 1995. The unit will use computerized data and undercover officers to saturate areas known for drug and gang problems to focus on people with a history of violence. Special attention will be put on those with prior arrests for murder, weapons violations and multiple felonies, Isom said. Cjoef local prosecutor Jennifer Joyce said attorneys from her Career Criminal Unit will work with the new team. U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway plans to set up a similar team in her office. “We’re all working together. We’re all talking to each other,” Joyce said. “There are few places that these violent offenders can hide now.”

Link: http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/37EF7CC768842C3886

Comments are closed.