ST. LOUIS – Gov. Eric Greitens, (R) Missouri, mapped out his plan for fighting crime in St. Louis Monday. He was flanked by members of law enforcement as he announced state troopers started patrolling St. Louis Interstates Sunday. He believes the effort will bring added crime fighting resources to an area that needs help.
The governor was greeted by protesters who support a higher minimum wage in St. Louis. Protesters feel the crime problem could be reduced through higher wages and more jobs. Greitens supported legislation that does not allow the minimum wage in St. Louis to climb higher than the state’s minimum wage. He believes the policy will help attract more businesses to St. Louis.
The governor also met with the family members of crime victims during a private event at Greater Grace Church in Ferguson Monday night.
“We sat down with mothers, fathers and brothers who are victims of violence, who told us about the affect this is has on families,” Greitens said. “We also talked about how working together, bringing clergy together, the business community together, charity organizations together, we can together create safer streets.”
The governor said at the core of his crime fighting philosophy is building relationships.
“We’re also bringing in our director of the Department of Corrections, bringing the Department of Social Services into schools in the community, bringing in the Department of Mental Health to provide training for our officers to deescalate situations and reduce crime whenever possible,” said Greitens.
State Rep. Joshua Peters, (D), represents the state’s 76th district in north St. Louis. He feels the governor is more interested in political grandstanding than fighting crime.
“The governor’s plan does nothing to get the root of solving crime here in the city of St. Louis,” said Peters. “The governor actually has to be serious about fighting crime instead of grandstanding to get national recognition. It’s ridiculous.”
Greitens dismissed that characterization saying, “There will always be critics.”