New strategy for fighting St. Louis violence may come from New York’s playbook

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce hopes to take a page out of a New York crime fighting playbook.  Joyce recently visited prosecutors in Manhattan and believes some of the strategies used to reduce crime in the Empire State could work in St. Louis.

"Gun violence to me is the number one problem that this region has," said Joyce.  "I think about it all day long, every day."

Joyce says prosecutors in Manhattan use intelligence driven prosecution.  She says authorities analyze data which then leads them to focus on the individuals causing the most disruption.  The St. Louis Circuit Attorney is in the process of determining whether those strategies would work in St. Louis.

Joyce says Manhattan has experienced a dramatic drop in violent crime.  The New York borough has reported 32 homicides this year.

"They are a city of 1.6 million people.  St. Louis is a city of 318,000 people, and last we checked we had 151 homicides," said Joyce.   "We need to figure something out."

Joyce also hopes to use social media against violent criminals.  She says Manhattan prosecutors are charging entire gangs with conspiracy, even if only one member pulls the trigger.

"It`s always been really hard in the past to prove conspiracy, but now in the advent of social media and other technologies, that`s a way that you can gather data to prove that individuals are in a conspiracy," said Joyce.

She also plans on meeting with prosecutors in Kansas City next month.  Joyce says the homicide rate in Kansas City is at a 50 year low.

"Other cities have tackled this problem," she said.  "We need to tackle it in St. Louis."

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