ST. LOUIS – There’s growing concern ahead of Mother’s Day weekend in the heart of downtown St. Louis after last weekend’s chaos and murders.
Barbara Forest doesn’t live far from the Arch grounds and said she wanted to get out before the storm.
“Good time for a walk,” Forest said. “I’m always on the lookout.”
She said there’s a need for a stronger police presence after last weekend’s 639 calls for service in 12 hours.
Brandy Thomas lives near St. Louis has avoided downtown because of crime but decided to come during the day.
Thomas said extra officers downtown could help put a dent in some of the issues.
“Maybe an officer on the corner. Police on bikes, mobile, walking,” she said.
Major Ryan Cousins, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, said earlier this week the department will approach this weekend with different tactics.
“We will be increasing our police presence in downtown,” Cousins said.
The department said officers from mobile reserve, SWAT, and intelligence will work with district patrol officers to launch a summer violence and cruising detail.
The SLMPD confirmed it currently has 970 commissioned officers, out of its authorized strength of 1,224.
“We’re short obviously but we have officers all over the city,” Cousins said.
Security was also top of mind at a Port Authority meeting Thursday where Commissioners signed off on applying for a $300,000 grant to improve security cameras along Leonor K. Sullivan Blvd., in front of the Arch.
Alan Morris lives in St. Louis and visited the Arch Thursday. He has his eye on the weekend and wants to see a stronger police presence.
Make it clear to wrongdoers, or potential wrongdoers,” Moris said.
In the meantime, everyone’s trying to keep things in perspective.
“I’m not going to stop coming downtown,” Forest said.