This article is 9 years old. It was published on December 22, 2011.
The Board of Police Commissioners of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) today voted to create a public safety partnership between the City of St. Louis, Mayor Slay’s office, the SLMPD, and University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). The public safety partnership will seek to implement recommendations and principles contained in the 2011 IBM Smarter Cities Challenge St. Louis report. That report found that better coordination, communication, and accountability are the keys to improving public safety. To increase communication and coordination, this partnership will work to better connect the activities of the police department to the public safety agencies in City Hall.
“We spend more money on public safety than on anything else,” said Mayor Slay. “This partnership will help to ensure that money is being well spent and will also help to make our neighborhoods safer. Last year, total crime was at a historic low. We hope to continue that trend.”
The City of St. Louis spends about $250 million per year on public safety through its budgetary support of police, prosecutors, courts, corrections, probation, and parole. This new partnership, called the St. Louis Public Safety Partnership, is formed to help make the best use of that investment to reduce crime and keep neighborhoods safe. The partnership will focus on crime reduction and a better coordinated criminal justice system. To work effectively together, UMSL criminologists will be stationed in St. Louis Police Headquarters and work directly with police officers to help implement and evaluate crime reduction initiatives.
“UMSL is committed to improving the greater St. Louis community through innovative teaching, research and service programs. That’s why we’re delighted to be joining Mayor Slay and Chief Isom to create The St. Louis Public Safety Partnership,” said UMSL Chancellor Thomas George. “We’re confident that the recommendations emanating from Professor Richard Rosenfeld’s research will help the SLMPD better carry out its mission in the City of St. Louis."
Faculty and doctoral students from UMSL’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, one of the top such programs in the nation, will help connect St. Louis to leading crime reduction initiatives throughout the nation.
“As a department, we continue to look for ways to prevent and solve crime in St. Louis,” said Police Chief Isom. “This partnership will assist our officers in their efforts to keep our citizens safe. We are excited about the opportunity to work with the City of St. Louis and UMSL on this initiative.”
This partnership is a great step to help St. Louis visitors and residents see a dramatic increase in public safety. This partnership will learn from successes and mistakes of other cities, and its efforts will be systematic and sustained. Performance measures will be put in place to show how well the City is meeting its safety goals.
“I’m proud of this partnership,” said Mayor Slay. “I look forward to our criminal justice system becoming more efficient, more productive, and making our City safer."
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