ST. LOUIS – The You Paid For It team is questioning St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden on whether it’s time to change his approach to fighting homicides in the city.
Homicides are up over last year in the north zone of the chief’s rectangle, an area bordered by Goodfellow, West Florissant, Martin Luther King and Vandeventer which is the highest crime area in the City of St. Louis.
The chief says he’s on the right track. He says even though murders are up they are trending downward. He says back in September the city was up 20 murders over last year but now that’s down to 5 murders over 2018.
Hayden’s rectangle is an imaginary line the chief has drawn around the city’s highest crime areas. He floods those areas with police specialty units to directly go after criminal activity.
But in the north zone of his rectangle:
- Homicides are up 12 percent
- Aggravated Assault with a firearm are up 19 percent
- Carjackings are up 19 percent
- Overall crimes against persons are up 16 percent
Chief Hayden says the rectangle approach makes the most sense.
But some critics say otherwise.
The alderwoman of one of the most violent neighborhoods says she’s seen an increase in homicides in her ward, 4 last year versus 17 murders this year.
Alderwoman Pam Boyd says something needs to change.