ST. LOUIS - Missouri Governor Mike Parson laid out a plan bringing state resources to the St. Louis-area in the effort to curb violent crime. Parson made the announcement during a news conference following weeks of meetings with elected and community leaders from the St. Louis area.
“We will commit approximately 25 state personnel to get more boots on the ground and support law enforcement operations," he said.
The additional resources will be used in different ways. One part of the plan is to send 4 to 6 Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers on stretches of area interstates located in St. Louis City. Parson said the plan is not to look for minor traffic offenses but to try and stop criminal activity and free up St. Louis police officers for other priorities.
“None of us, no matter where we’re from, want to see our children getting shot in the streets,” said Parson. “That’s not who we are in this state.”
The remaining state personnel will be made available for a variety for crime-fighting efforts, including an ATF Strike Force aimed at fighting gun-related crimes, a US Marshals Fugitive Task Force targeting the most dangerous fugitives, and the Mission Strike Against Violence Task Force (SAVE).
“The SAVE Task Force targets the most violent individuals while also working on long term drug investigations around organized crime and gang activity,” Parson said.
Two investigators will be made available to the US Attorney’s Office to help with ongoing efforts to prosecute more drug and gun cases. More money will be sent to a victims’ crime fund and a greater focus will be given to state and local partnerships involved with probation and parole programs involving violent offenders.
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page applaud the plan. They also believe it will take a long-term, comprehensive plan to address the root causes of violent crime.
“Easy access to guns, generational poverty, and lack of opportunity have all contributed the violence we are seeing across our region,” said Krewson.
Page added: “We’re also willing to work with governor’s staff, federal agencies, and city officers and leadership to address crime as the regional issue that we know it is.”
Parson said the problems of violent crimes has been visible for decades and they cannot be quickly solved.