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Police Tighten Security In Loop After Shooting Incident

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UNIVERSITY CITY, MO (KTVI)-- Police in University City and St. Louis will focus extra attention on The Loop entertainment district after last Saturday shots were fired and street fights broke out among young teens.  The popular neighborhood runs along Delmar from Kingsland in University City east to Rosedale in St. Louis.

An estimated one thousand teens congregated in the area but police said only several hundred caused problems.

Juveniles who cause trouble in the future will be held until their parents can be notified and can come pick them up.   "Everything we're doing and everything we're preparing for is safety driven," said the deputy commander of community policing for St. Louis City, Captain Michael Caruso.

"We don't want any fights or aggravated assaults and we don't want anything to go on in the Loop area that would b ring down the reputation they've worked for years to build up," Caruso said.

Police don't want to restrict anyone from the Loop area, but they promise the city will use every ordinance and law it has to make sure weekends are orderly.

If the officers assigned by University City and St. Louis are not sufficient, St. Louis police have reserve squads available.   "Whether it be the Loop, whether it be the Landing or where ever,  we are fully prepared to respond on a moment's notice if that's needed," said Caruso.

Both police departments will cooperate with each other with the goal of getting teens to go home after the 9pm University City curfew rather than push them into the St. Louis city segment of the Loop where the Friday and Saturday night curfew is midnight.

Social media is fueling the gathering of teens.  Caruso said, "99 percent of them show up here with no bad or criminal intent whatsoever.  It's a very, very small minority of people who cause the problems that we will kind of be focusing our attention on."

Betsey.Bruce@tvstl.com
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