The City of St. Louis spends more money - $250 million a year - on public safety than on anything else. Ensuring that this commitment from taxpayers is used effectively and efficiently to make neighborhoods safer by reducing crime is the major focus of a new partnership I have been working on since I received the IBM Smarter Cities report.
This morning, my plan took a major step forward. The St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners, who are appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon, agreed to support a new initiative, called the St. Louis Public Safety Partnership, to focus on crime reduction and a better coordinated criminal justice system.
Criminologists from the University of Missouri, St. Louis will now be stationed in St. Louis Police Headquarters and will work directly with police officers to help implement and evaluate crime reduction initiatives.
The challenge is daunting. Although reports of crimes in the City are at historic lows, there is still a lot more that can and must be done. I expect the results of the partnership to be dramatic ' and nearly immediate.