ST. LOUIS - “You can’t do it overnight there’s no way. This didn’t happen overnight so it’s going to take a while,” south city resident Lewis Roeder said.
South city residents like Roeder are hoping for a new day in the city of St. Louis as he and others wait to see what changes Police chief John Hayden will bring.
“He’s basically starting with a clean slate and I think he’s got good support from people on the north side,” he said.
And that’s where Chief Hayden says he plans to continue to focus his efforts to end crime in the highest crime rated neighborhoods.
In a forum with South City residents, the chief laid out his plan of what he calls the Hayden rectangle.
That’s where he said there will have more of a police presence.
That four-point zone will be cornered with West Florissant on the north end, Dr. Martin Luther King on the south, and Vandeventer and Goodfellow to the east and west.
Hearing that some residents questioned if that will mean fewer officers on South City streets.
Here’s the chief response to that.
“My crime plan will not include taking resources and officers out of other neighborhoods and putting them in the rectangle,” Chief John Hayden said.
Some residents say word of his plan still draws some red flags for them, but they plan on giving the chief a chance.
“Apparently that’s why he’s got this job. I hope we can trust him to make the right choices,” south city resident Richard Sutton said.
“I just want to see what he can do. I just wish him the best of luck,” Roeder said.