City looks at changing police districts
ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Significant changes could soon be coming to the way the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is structured.
Police Chief Sam Dotson is proposing a plan to reduce the number of districts from nine to six.
Dotson says two issues are driving the changes: calls for service and crime statistics.
Dotson argues his plan will mean shorter response times, more balanced workloads and improved overall policing.
The story appears in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: St. Louis police chief unveils plan to reorganize police districts
The Post says Dotson will detail the proposal Friday morning before the full board of aldermen. He presented it Thursday to the Public Safety Committee.
Under the plan, most of the new districts will have an equal number of officers and commandersand they will be relatively similar in size.
Dotson tells the Post the old district maps were outdated, but this plan will allow police to patrol all parts of the city equally.
Dotson says this is also the result of local control of the police department. When the state was in charges, nine districts were mandated.
There are two exceptions to the staffing breakdowns. After a rough summer in Forest Park that included a fatal shooting and a lot of car break-ins, the new plan calls for six additional officers in the new second district. That means two officers will patrol the park 16 hours a day.
The new fourth district, which will encompass the downtown area, will have 20 extra officers paid for by the Downtown Business Association.
Dotson plans to hold public meetings in the weeks to come and implement the new plan by next spring.