ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - It’s a problem St. Louis has yet to solve. Violent crime appears to have no end in sight. St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson wants voters to weigh in on the idea of raising taxes in order to fund more police officers. There’s no official proposal on the table but some aldermen have already voiced concerns about paying for more police.
“When you look at crime, you got to look at the root cause of crime,” said 21st Alderman John Collins-Muhammad.
He believes the root cause of crime is poverty and said the crimes of today are the result of years of neglect in the city’s poorest neighborhoods. He said he looks forward to working with the new mayor on finding solutions but does not believe hiring more police officers is the answer.
“I can’t just go into a drug dealer in my neighborhood and take the drugs out of his right hand and don’t have anything to replace it with in his left hand,” said Muhammad-Collins.
He also believes more funding needs to go to the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office. He said prosecutors are leaving for better paying jobs, slowing down the prosecution of some criminals.
27th ward Alderwoman Pamela Boyd has planned a town hall meeting at 6 pm on June 13th at the New Northside Conference Center. She said the meeting is one way to come up with the best strategies for residents in her ward to fight crime.
“Everybody was turning their head and was like okay that’s not my problem but it is. It’s a community problem,” said Boyd. “This town hall meeting that we’re having on the 13th, it’s not just about complaining and saying what’s not right. It’s about what the next step is and what we’re doing.”
Boyd said some men have started foot patrols in the ward.
“I think that’s a huge step because the people who are patrolling live in the community,” she said.
Both aldermen say they look forward to working with the new mayor on finding solutions that work.