ST. LOUIS – Leading experts in crime and public safety from across the area are meeting Wednesday in St. Louis to discuss ways to prevent crime.

The East-West Gateway Council of Governments hosted Wednesday’s regional crime summit at the Washington University School of Medicine.

Community and business leaders, as well as law enforcement attended the summit to hear discussions of the crime problems in our area. The goal of the meeting is to get governments to work together on a strategy to fight crime.

St. Louis leaders say homicides are the priority issue in the metro area, and a regional approach is needed to combat it.

“We are making investments and community violence intervention programs and deterrence programs. And, I think, all we need to do now is just make sure our entire region is also on board,” St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said.

A 32-page report called, “The Need for a Regional Strategy to Reduce Homicides” was just released last week. The report, spearheaded by Greater St. Louis Inc. and the Regional Business Council, points to homicides as a growing problem across the region.

“I think everybody is looking at St. Louis and there’s a lot of hope in this city. And I think there’s a lot of potential coming out of the pandemic. Civil unrest. Coming out of this, coming back to normalcy, how do we get back?” St. Louis Police Chief Robert Tracy said.

Community leaders say holding the crime summit was important to brainstorm and to come up with violence-reduction solutions.

“What I got from the summit is collaboration is key. We are not working in silos around here. We don’t live in silos. Every area impacts the other,” St. Louis County Councilwoman Shalonda Webb said. “And we have to communicate, not just on crime and enforcement, but prevention.