St. Louis aldermen president meets with Gov. Parson to pitch new idea to reduce crime

ST. LOUIS – Lewis Reed, the President of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, met with Missouri Governor Mike Parson to discuss a new approach to fighting violent crime in the City of St. Louis.

For years, crime summits have been held gathering input from politicians, police, clergy professors, crime victims and their families, and others. What about talking to the criminals in the city?

Reed floated the idea to Gov. Parson on Thursday and said he’s confident there will be a city-state partnership to fight violent crime.

Reed wants St. Louis to adopt the Group Violence Intervention program. It has been used in other cities and has cut crime by 30 to 50 percent.

The program calls call in gang members and criminals for interventions with police and social service workers. The goal is to integrate the criminals back into society. Reed said he’s confident the state will help with funding, resources, and manpower.

"The governor has a background in law enforcement and he has been part of some innovative programs in law enforcement when he was there," Reed said. "He understands the problems that we're having here in the city and wants to help us make a difference."

Reed said Parson told him he would get the state’s public safety director to look at the feasibility of implementing the program. There’s no timetable on when Governor Parson would get back to the aldermanic president.