NORMANDY, MO (KTVI) – A new initiative aimed at reducing violence in high crime areas is kicking off Monday.
The effort is using both police and community based programs. It’s all part of a new effort called the “St. Louis Initiative to Reduce Violence” or “SIRV.”
The new program was created by well known pastor and NAACP member B.T. Rice.
There are many other people involved as well. Among them, key law enforcement players including St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson, St. Louis County Police Tim Fitch and retired St. Louis police Chief and current UMSL professor Dan Isom.
“SIRV” will target “hot spot” crime zones starting with Jennings and the sixth district in north St. Louis. That area includes Walnut Park and the Baden neighborhoods.
Chief Dotson has employed hot spot policing in high crime areas before like College Hill in north St. Louis. He says his officers will do more hot spot policing as part of this program.
Chief Fitch says his officers will actually start checking on probation and parole violators to make sure they are home when they are supposed to be.
Pastor Rice says this effort will succeed where others have failed because of six different task forces that are crucial parts of the program.
Those task forces range from law enforcement to churches to mental health services.
Rice says he’s been planning this effort for about a year. He tells us there are plans to expand the program once it gets going.
SIRV will use a multi-level approach to solving the problem of violence in the St. Louis region by leveraging resources at the local, state and national levels.
SIRV has established several task force groups within the Board of Directors aimed at achieving these goals:
- Reduce Violence Task Force: Leverages law enforcement, court, and community relationships to reduce overall violent crime.
- Faith-Based Task Force: Engages faith-based leaders and organizations in SIRV`s mission.
- New Hope Task Force: Reaches out to children and teens through schools to demonstrate alternatives to violence.
- Business Task Force: Creates relationships in the business community and informs them about the mission of SIRV.
- Behavioral Health Task Force: Works to understand the role of behavioral health in violence, and how we can improve mental health services in our community.
- Finance Task Force: Responsible for fundraising and budgeting for the organization.