Spirit of St. Louis – Pick Your Charity, Pick Your Car

Police and businesses partnering to improve safety in downtown St. Louis

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DOWNTOWN ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - More cameras and a safer downtown. That's what the City of St. Louis Police Department said on Thursday it's doing to help reduce crime.

According to Captain Renee Kriesmann, crime is at its lowest in 50 years.

Kriesmann said the department and its real-time crime center are planning to ramp up their street technology to make downtown even safer.

"We are working hard to increase the cameras and to increase some of the technology for some of our more vulnerable spots," said Kriesmann.

The department is also partnering with area businesses to make sure the public is protected.

"We have worked closely with some of the owners of parking lots that are around the business area," explained Kriesmann, "and they have worked really hard to secure their lots and to light them correctly and to staff them especially during the busy times."

Several of those lots sit along Washington Avenue and in the downtown west neighborhoods.

"We believe private property owners need to participate in securing the neighborhood," said real estate developer, Brad Waldrop, "so we have invested in our parking lots specifically with four foot fences and LED lighting and we are going to be tied to the real-time crime center."

FOX 2 asked Kriesmann if the latest efforts will cost taxpayers.

"There's no taxpayer money being used," she said, "we did this under our smart budget. We work hard on keeping people safe, making people feel safe, Washington Avenue is safe."

Waldrop said that he has invested anywhere from a $150,000 to $200,000 per lot.

One of those lots sits on 14th Street and Delmar Boulevard which is part of the St. Louis Neighborhood Association study. That means the owners will run statistics after a year to show that they have in fact helped in reducing car break-ins.