There’s no doubt about it. To be a great City, we must have safe neighborhoods. City residents, like suburban residents, demand the prompt enforcement of the state’s laws — including those against auto theft, drug dealing, burglary, and assault. So, my office has been working closely with Police Chief Joe Mokwa to rid our neighborhoods of the relatively few people who disrupt them.
The police are making arrests lots of them. But, arrests don’t help if the court system doesn’t do its job effectively.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has given me examples of people who have been arrested more than a dozen times, but who are still out on the streets.
I want to be clear: This is only anecdotal evidence. And I am not going to base policy decisions on hearsay.
I have asked Dr. Scott Decker, a criminologist at the University of Missouri/St. Louis, to conduct a study of convicts who were put on probation in 2004 to determine outcomes.
I will keep you updated on the study’s progress and will make the results public.