St. Louis Police make smooth transition into new districts

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI)  - On this historic day for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the number of districts shrank from nine to six.

There appeared to be nothing out of the ordinary for operations inside the department’s 911 call center located in Downtown St. Louis.

Police Chief Sam Dotson was there just after the change took effect at 4 a.m. Monday. He had been planning this for more than a year. He said the change, about 50 years in the making, would lead to a safer city.

“We will provide 24-hour coverage – better 24-hour coverage – in each of the districts. And then, the captains kept saying – the people I hold accountable,” he explained. “‘We need more resources to do Hot-Spot Policing.’ So, this will give them additional officers to go street-by-street, neighborhood-by-neighborhood to address crime problems.”

Hot-spot policing has moved police officers to areas of high-crime, in efforts to find suspects and evidence more quickly. A recent change from state to local control made the change possible. Dotson says the city’s shrinking population called for reorganizing the police department to will help better utilize resources.

Mayor Francis Slay agreed.

“Feeling safe is one of the most important things we can have as families in the City of St. Louis,” he said. “And as a government, that’s one of our most important jobs, making our city safer.”

Dotson said he would review operations in the next two weeks, to make sure everything is going as planned. There will then be regular reviews for the rest of the first year, and then every ten years when new census data comes out.

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