Mayor Lyda Krewson today issued the following statement regarding the expansion of the federal law enforcement initiative known as “Operation Legend” to the City of St. Louis:
“Today, U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen announced the City of St. Louis will receive additional assistance from our federal law enforcement partners through the expansion of ‘Operation Legend’. This sustained initiative will collaborate and coordinate with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and state law enforcement agencies to address violent crime and apprehend dangerous offenders in the City.
As Mayor, my highest priority is protecting the health and safety of more than 300,000 people who deserve a community where they feel safe to live, work, and visit. I support this effort.
Over the last few months, we’ve seen an unprecedented surge in violent and deadly crime plaguing our City. During the months of June and July alone, our police officers responded to 85 homicides and numerous other non-fatal shootings. This continued violence is cutting lives short and devastating hundreds of victims, family members, and loved ones. We must hold the perpetrators of this crime accountable.
At a time when our police department is facing a serious shortage of approximately 140 officers, we need additional resources to help us investigate violent crimes, make arrests, and deter additional violent offenses across the City.
Through ‘Operation Legend’, the U.S. Department of Justice will supplement state and local law enforcement agencies by sending more than 50 federal investigators to the City. Under the leadership of U.S. Attorney Jensen, these investigators will complement the work already underway by existing joint federal, state, and local task forces focused on combatting violent gangs, gun crime, and drug trafficking organizations.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance will also make available $1 million to support the operation’s violent crime reduction efforts and shot spotter responses in the City. We’re also receiving two Special Assistant United States Attorneys from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office to support violent crime prosecutions.
I am grateful for and appreciate the continued and expanded partnership with our federal law enforcement partners.”