St. Louis aldermen will consider $8 million for crime prevention program

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ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will consider a bill to set aside $8 million for public safety and crime prevention, but some are concerned the plan is a gamble.

The program is called Cure Violence, which some leaders believe is exactly what St. Louis needs after more than a dozen children have died by gunfire in the city this year.

Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed said the city needs to change the way it approaches crime prevention.

"It's not going to happen on its own, and it's not going to happen by pouring more money down that same drain when we know where it leads," he said.

According to Reed, Cure Violence aims to reduce crime by sending out trained outreach workers to connect and intervene before things turn violent. Reed proposed Board Bill 105, which will allocate $8 million in funding over three years to fund the program.

The city set aside $2 million for violence prevention alternatives including the Cure Violence program. Some of Reed's colleagues are not sold on investing more money into a program that offers no guarantee.

"$8 million puts all your eggs in one basket, everybody knows that," said Comptroller Darlene Green. "You don't want to put all your eggs in one basket."

While there is no guarantee Cure Violence will work in St. Louis, Reed said it has made a big impact in other cities across the country. ()

Source: Cure Violence

"The east Bronx hadn't seen a shooting in over a thousand days," said Reed. "Can you imagine the city of St. Louis if we're able to drive our murder rate down by 40 or 50 percent in one year? It would transform everything in our city."

The meeting will be held Tuesday, September 24 at 10 a.m. in Room 208 at St. Louis City Hall (1200 Market St.). The meeting will be live-streamed on YouTube.

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