ST. CHARLES, Mo. – Mayors from four St. Louis County cities introduced a plan last week to consolidate the prosecutor’s offices for St. Louis City and County as one unit.

Mayors of Bridgeton, Brentwood, Manchester and Wildwood have called on state lawmakers to take on action on a six-point plan, which would force courts and prosecutors to get tough on adult and juvenile gun, drug, and car crimes, particularly in the city of St. Louis.

The effort appears to have support from others neighboring St. Louis County. Officials with St. Charles, Franklin and Jefferson counties released this statement Thursday in support of the possibility that St. Louis City and County merge their prosecutors’ offices:

We join St. Louis County mayors in their support for consolidating the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office and the St. Louis County Prosecutor into a regional prosecutor’s office. We echo St. Louis City Mayor Tishaura Jones and St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell when they said that crime is a regional problem, and we need to work together for regional solutions.

We feel this is a very good regional solution. It is important that it preserves local control and allows the voters to choose their prosecutor. While this is outside our jurisdiction, it is a regional issue that affects us all. We will always do whatever we can to help other elected officials in the region, just as we hope they would help us if we needed it.

We agree with the approach of identifying specific tools that prosecutors and law enforcement need to address the disturbing trends in our region concerning car thefts, the spread of fentanyl, repeat offenders being released to commit crimes rather than post bond, and the increase in juvenile crime due to the lack of any consequences. We will be asking our state representatives and state senators to support this legislation.

St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann, Franklin County Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker and Jefferson County Executive Dennis Gannon were all attributed to that statement.

The challenge from St. Louis County mayors moves forward as St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner faces efforts from the Missouri Attorney General to remove her from office. A judge has ruled for indirect criminal contempt proceedings for St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner after she didn’t show to a scheduled contempt of court hearing Thursday.

In that hearing, Judge Michael Noble stated “The Circuit Attorney’s Office appears to be a rudderless ship of chaos” and acknowledged one prosecutor in St. Louis was handling around 100 active felony cases.

“It is not just a single source issue, for example, Kim Gardner,” said Wildwood Mayor Jim Bowlin via last week’s report from FOX 2’s Andy Banker. “Do I think she does a great job in that office? I don’t. (This) needs to be addressed, this problem, on a fundamental, long term, permanent basis.”

Bowlin and the other mayors propose the following changes as part of a six-point plan:

  • Combine the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office and St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office into one unit.
  • Mandatory life sentences without parole for illegally selling fentanyl that results in death
  • Increase penalties for possession of firearms and illegal controlled substances
  • Implement mandatory cash bond in cases involving repeat offenders
  • Enhance car theft penalty to a Class C felony
  • Require officials to assess points based on crimes allegedly committed by juveniles