ST. LOUIS – With opening day for the Cardinals just days away, there’s a lot of buzz around Busch Stadium. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department says they are stepping up patrols more than ever before.
“There will be a lot of police presence down here and there’s really no worry when you come to the Cardinals game or Blues game or The Dome (at America’s Center), because we have all three this week in the downtown area,” said St. Louis Police Capt. Pierre Benoist.
Benoist is overseeing some of the safety operations. He says their focus is having plenty of officers on the streets and in the stadium.
“For the game on Thursday, we will have a number of officers in uniform and plain clothes and will also have called a mobile office. It’s an oversized van with a lot of lights and alarms and everything on it, and we’ll have that there,” he said.
Benoist says the department will also have regular overnight patrols downtown every weekend throughout the season. He says another focus is preventing break-ins and carjackings in downtown lots.
“We have an issue with some car break-ins and we’re trying to address them through lighting more security on their end. Some of these parking lots would take the money and then after the game would start, no one would be protecting the cars. So, we worked with them to get them to stay the remainder of the game or hire a security firm to patrol there lots,” he said.
Benoist also says the department is working with county police and other agencies to make sure there is no shortage in manpower.
“We can’t sit and complain how short we are,” he said. “We have to go with what we got and think outside the box.”
Police are also asking for people heading to downtown this week to not leave guns, laptops, or expensive items in vehicles because they are a target for thieves.