The Pulse of St. Louis: Mayor Jones on her plan to improve public safety

Pulse of St. Louis

ST. LOUIS– St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones says the biggest challenge facing her administration is public safety. On the Pulse of St. Louis, find out how Jones is addressing that issue and others facing the City.

Last week, Mayor Tishaura Jones joined academic leaders and advocates in a Washington University St. Louis Brown School’s virtual roundtable discussing the importance of social workers in improving public safety.

She explained it is time to put the public back into public safety.

The mayor’s 2021 budget includes funding for more than 25 new social workers. She said it is part of the city’s Social Worker for St. Louis Initiative.

One of the other panelists described social workers as disruptors. Jones said that is what the city needs.

“We are looking to disrupt and transform our current public safety system to be one that is outward-looking and helps people,” said Jones during the panel.

She explained that increasing the number of social workers will mean there is more help for diversion call efforts. She said that by connecting people with the right resources there will be fewer people involved in the criminal justice system.

Jones highlighted the success of the “Cops and Clinicians” program that started in February. She said since then, about 70% of the people that have been encountered by the program have been diverted from entering the criminal justice program.

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