There is no doubt that there are more crimes in the City than in many other municipalities in Missouri. St. Louis has a larger population than every municipality except Kansas City, and is more densely settled than KC. But, it is also true that most St. Louis neighborhoods are safe.
The underpinning for this belief is public trust in the City’s crime reporting process. It is critical that the police department accurately records and reports the crimes that it investigates. That’s why I was pleased by a recent note from Chief Joe Mokwa telling me that a recent audit of the City’s crime reporting efforts by the Missouri State Highway Patrol gave the police department good marks for the way it compiles and reports crime data. According to the Chief, the auditors said that “many agencies, even some of the smaller departments, are not as vigilant about deadlines and accuracy as the Metropolitan Police Department.”
Like the Chief, I believe that knowing — and telling residents — “what crimes happen” and “where crime happen” are critical elements in combating criminal behavior. This successful audit and the police department’s informative Internet-based crime report map are Exhibits A and B in an eyes-wide-open approach to keeping City neighborhoods safe.