Hot spot policing returns to St. Louis’ Fifth Ward

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – St. Louis police are kicking off three weeks of hot spot policing trying to address areas of the city that are being hit hardest by criminal activity.

Chief Sam Dotson addressed roll call Monday morning at Central Patrol on North Jefferson. For the next week, city police will be stepping up enforcement in the Fifth Ward. That means parts of downtown, but primarily neighborhoods just north of downtown, including Old North St Louis, St. Louis Place, and Carr Square.

Dotson says the Fifth Ward has seen a jump in violence and property crime. He wants to get back to more hot spot policing this year to try and combat crime like what`s happening in the Fifth Ward.

He says in the first part of last year through July, the city saw a 13 percent overall drop in crime. Dotson credits that to things like hot spot policing.

After the Michael Brown shooting, Dotson says officers had to turn their attention elsewhere away from hot spot policing. As a result, neighborhoods began struggling with crime numbers.

Dotson says he wants to now refocus crime fighting efforts with operations including hot spot policing.

After the Fifth Ward, Dotson says the hot spot effort will go to other north city neighborhoods including the West End, Wells-Goodfellow and Academy. Then officers will move south into Dutchtown.