Police Chief John Hayden says 2018 crime prevention strategy worked, plans for improvement in the New Year

ST. LOUIS - Almost one year after he became police chief, John Hayden said that homicides in the city are down. The chief held at a town hall meeting at Forest Park Community College Wednesday night.

Hayden said, he believes that the focus in the 'Hayden Rectangle' worked. That's why the police department will expand on that idea by adding two new zones where violent crime is the highest. That includes one in the Central Patrol Division and one in the South Patrol Division.

Hayden said violent crime is down citywide compared to the same time in 2017 when it was the highest in nearly 20 years.

The chief went on to say that this year, in the 'rectangle' the anti-crime task force arrested 166 people in connection to stolen or carjacked vehicles. Many of the arrests were made mostly because of the cameras that are installed throughout the city.

The department has also seized more 2,400 firearms this year.

Meanwhile among those attending, were families of those who have lost loved ones to violent crime saying that they are also invested in fighting crime since it hits close to home.

“We need to come together as a community," said Rhonda Boykin, "we need to stop the killing, we need to stop the violence because this is not just an us situation this is a community situation.”

The chief also talked about extra police training when it comes maintaining public safety during any protests.

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