Crime up in St. Louis; Chief Dotson faces tough questions about violence

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – St. Louis Chief of Police Sam Dotson faced a steady stream of criticism Thursday during a public safety committee hearing at city hall.

The hearing comes as alarming crime numbers are revealed. There have been 59 so far in 2014. Forty of those murders are unsolved. There were 47 murders at this time in 2014.

Reports of stolen guns are up 70 percent.

During the hearing, Alderman Antonio French referred to the chief’s hot spot policing as “whack a mole” policing. Several of the alderman said that instead of temporarily flooding more violent areas with officers, the chief should place more officers in those areas long-term.

The city is set to hire 160 more police officers, but Chief Dotson said there will still be limits to what he can do.

“The reality of the world is that I have a budget,” Dotson said. “I have to worry about the entire city.”

The chief will meet with the public safety committee again next Thursday.