ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones delivered her second State of the City address on Tuesday. She spoke for nearly 45 minutes on a wide range of topics, from poverty to abortion rights to crime statistics. A big topic she addressed is the ongoing push for the state to take over the city’s police department.
“We have been vocal about what we need to improve public safety, and a state takeover of our police department isn’t it,” Jones said. “We have 99 problems, and the state stepping in and taking over our criminal justice system ain’t one. For people who don’t live here, they sure do have a lot to say about how St. Louis should run our police department.”
One of the driving forces behind the legislation is Representative Brad Christ, who had this response.
“With the support of law enforcement, I have sponsored legislation returning control of St. Louis police to a state board,” he said. “Just as it was for generations before. I have proposed an anti-car theft measure using proven policy, giving police the ability to pursue criminals for the attempted car thefts.”
The city’s crime is another topic on which the two disagree on a solution.
“Property crime has been down for more than a month compared to this time last year,” Jones said. “All property crime is down except for car thefts, and we’re taking Kia and Hyundai to court to hold them accountable for the public safety hazards their vehicles have created on our streets.”
“Instead of focusing and prosecuting vehicle thefts, a crime spree affecting our region,” Christ said. “The city is taking car manufacturers to court instead of the criminals who steal them. St. Louis deserves better. In just my first term in the Missouri general assembly, I’ve already offered a bold plan to address St. Louis’ biggest challenge, the crime epidemic.”