ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)-- Crime in St. Louis spiked in January with murder, armed robbery, and rape all posting double-digit increases. Police Chief Sam Dotson calls it a one-month blip.
After a series of murders, police flooded the north side's College Hill neighborhood.
Wednesday, police were back with dozens of other city workers, cleaning empty lots and boarding up abandoned buildings.
The city says hitting College Hill hard with cops and city workers is part of their new hot spot policing strategy. But some residents suspect it has more to do with Mayor Francis Slay's re-election strategy.
The mayor says this clean-up is not a political stunt to get support in African-American areas.
But most of those problem buildings are owned by the city, taken over when they were abandoned.
And people in College Hill would feel more confident if police and city workers had shown up nowhere near election time.
The alderman representing College Hill, Antonio French, supports Slay opponent Lewis Reed for mayor. Alderman French tweeted “13 days before election day, Mayor Slay is finally sending city agencies into College Hill. But Slay maintains this is all about stopping bullets not the March 5th ballot.