ST. LOUIS – Days after a large weekend party crowd was seen causing heavy damage to a St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department vehicle, Mayor Tishaura Jones on Wednesday announced new steps to improve public safety downtown over the Memorial Day Holiday weekend and address what her office described as “unsafe conditions.”
“It just gets so crazy down here and sometimes I don’t know really how many cops they even have,” said resident Mathie Collado. “I know it’s been really hectic down here.”
“We know that people of St. Louis want to feel safe, and any plans we set in motion must address their concerns as proactively as possible. Our goal is to prevent any potential illegal activity before it escalates to injury or harm,” Jones said in a news release.
A “Summer Cruising Detail” will work downtown from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. “to enforce traffic laws, redirect traffic, and block off key streets with a high concentration of visitors and residents,” according to the release.
A “Summer Violence Detail” will patrol citywide from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., with a focus on Downtown St. Louis and areas with frequent calls.
“It’s kind of frustrating because the activity downtown has been getting more and more raucous, I guess you could say, and there needs to be a better police presence down here,” resident Sandra Blythe said.
The mayor’s office has received calls nonstop from residents about the conditions downtown.
“That’s what we elected her for. That’s what we want her to do,” Blythe said.
Collado saw and heard about Sunday’s incident. He understands people are ready to have fun but hopes it’s the right way.
“It’s Memorial Day weekend and everyone is ready to go out, I get it, but safety is always the number one thing,” he said.
The city is also negotiating with the St. Louis Sheriff’s Office to cover patrols in the downtown area.