ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - On Tuesday night more than 300 people showed up to St. Stephen Catholic Church to hear solutions from police after a series of robberies in South St. Louis near Holly Hills. There were 8 robberies this year and 3 were in November. Police say a major issue is the need for tougher laws on armed offenders. St. Louis city Chief Sam Dotson also says he wants the courts to do more.
“We looked at about 250 cases where we arrested someone with a gun and two-thirds of those cases those people got probation they were right back on the street the recidivism is 70 percent.” said Dotson
While police gave updates on recent crimes longtime resident Greg Venneman says he walks his neighborhood with friends for added protection. Venneman is disturbed by recent events some of them involving teenagers.
“There's always been petty crimes garage, copper, gutters but it’s getting more intimate a crime against one is a crime against all and now they're taking it out on women.”Venneman said
Chief Dotson says officials are still in the process of trying to hire 160 new officers and says the city should do better with pay. Adding St. Louis County pays about $9,000 more per year in starter salaries compared to the City of St. Louis. He’s working with Mayor Francis Slay and alderman to raise pay to make St. Louis more attractive to recruits. St. Louis city police arrest between 27,000 and 30,000 people per year.