Task force aims for safer weekend downtown after launch of new initiative

Missouri

ST. LOUIS – It’s the first weekend that there will be a higher police presence in downtown St. Louis since the city launched its new initiative to combat crime.

The initiative includes a new task force that will include civic business and community leaders. They will meet every week to discuss how to improve downtown St. Louis, which is part of the new effort that included a greater police presence for the next six weeks.

Angela Pearson, special projects manager for the Mayor’s Office Downtown Engagement and Public Safety Initiative, said there will be 30 more officers in the downtown area this weekend.

“We hope that they help deter crime, also assist residents with the issues they may incur,” she said. We want to make sure that this weekend is safer. We want to make sure folks feel welcomed and that we have a good community presence.”
   
As the St. Louis Cardinals gear up for a big weekend at Busch Stadium, they also will be a part of the new downtown engagement and public safety initiative task force.

”As far as this security effort goes we know that when it comes to downtown safety failure is not an option, we have to fix this, we will fix it and I’m glad to apart of the group that will meet every,” said Bill Dewitt, president of St Louis Cardinals.
   
 Some downtown business owners say it’s welcoming news.
   
Tiana Jones, owner of Luxe Department Store on Washington Avenue, welcomes the new public safety initiative. 

“I’m very excited, it will be a good look for downtown. I’m glad the mayor is being proactive in doing something about the crime and people will feel more comfortable about coming down here,” she said.

“We have been here two years and it’s been trying. First COVID happened then crime started, but we are hanging in there. I’m glad to hear the news.”
 
Authorities also say they will focus on enforcing things such as traffic rules and park curfews. The task force will meet weekly to come up with solutions to help revitalize the area.

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