• Peace

    This is such a sensitive subject to so many. I never in a million years realized what really goes on in the streets until I married into a police family. It’s so hard to think and speak on these issues unless you have loved them day in and day out, just ask any city cop or SLU/Glennon or Barnes ER nurse. The crime that is reported in the Post Dispatch is just the tip of the iceberg. I understand why city leaders want to sweep it under the rug but until we face the reality of the war zones we currently have we as a city will never be able to move forward. It’s like Mayor Slay and Chief Dotson are the wealthy parents that think their kid has everything but a drug problem. I wish those two men could be honest and beg for the help our city so despartly needs. For those that think I’m making this out to be a bigger deal than it is I challenge you to sit in the SLU Er for a night or do a ride along on the north side.

    • matimal

      St. Louis city won’t get better by begging or obsessing about crime. It will get better by unloading its problems onto other parts of metro St. Louis. With a lighter burden and with surrounding governments confronted by increasing crime, only then will regional ‘cooperation’ on crime or anything else be possible.

      • Peace

        I disagree, and that opinion is based on facts and life experiences. Problems don’t “unload” they multiply. Look up the birth rates. Surrounding governments don’t play and neither do their citizens, they are after all the ones that fled the city in the first place. Time will tell!

        • matimal

          ??

          • Peace

            I don’t really think about your opinion at all, it’s obvious you’re not an ER nurse in the city or 1st responder so you aren’t going to see and know the same things I do therefore our experiences have been different and so will our opinions be. I don’t care if you agree with me or not, I’m not commenting to strike my ego, just bringing awareness to a reality that many city residents may not see. It’s kinda like when NYC cleaned up Times Square. Addressing the issues were the right way to go, not being dismissive and saying “well the upper east side is thriving”

          • matimal

            Then why are you responding to my opinion? The views of emergency room nurses are not the only “real” view or “true” experiences. There are different ‘realities.’ You don’t have some special access to the one ‘reality.’

          • Peace

            Who popped in your Cheerios today? Gee whiz! I responded because you asked, why did you respond? Do you just want the last word? I never said ER nurses have the only real or true view but when it come to crime and policing, which is what this post is about, they have first hand knowledge, but apparently in your opinion, you’re the only one allowed to have knowledge. I’m well aware that there are differnent realities and I don’t think mine is special. What makes you so combative?

          • matimal

            You responded to me. I commented here first. You said ER nurses have some special insight into crime and policing. I disagreed. You need to toughen up a bit if you want to participate in these discussions.

          • Peace

            Um no. I never responded to you first. You were the big winner with the 1st comment and I commented after you but not in response to you. I hope you’re just having an off day and this isn’t your typical m.o.

          • matimal

            I placed the first post on this forum. Your post came after mine and then can be reasonably understood to be in response to my view that competition, not cooperation, will be part of any regional effort at crime fighting.

        • onecity

          The problems have been unloading, Peace, and Matimal is right. Just look at census data. Why did Ferguson happen in NoCo and not in the city? Median incomes in the central corridor have been skyrocketing. Demographic composition is getting richer and whiter in the city. House prices are increasing.

          • John R

            The City is a mixed bag…. definitely some good progress in many neighborhoods but also continued serious decline in others. Also, is there any evidence that the city’s overall poverty rate is on the decline in the City? It may be in the Central Corridor but what about South and North City?

          • matimal

            but it’s not a random mixed bag. There are patterns. The biggest being the departure of the poor from many neighborhoods and the arrival of the professional classes in the central corridor and parts of the south side.

          • John R

            And also a concentration of poor in parts of the the south side. In general, North continues to slide, Central continues to improve and South continues to be a mix.

    • jhoff1257

      I do think you’re making this out to be a bigger deal then it is. I don’t dispute that there has been an uptick in crime since the Ferguson unrest but overall crime is still well below peak levels from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. I think if you asked most city residents they would tell you it’s gotten significantly better (in many respects) east of Skinker over the years. All my friends that live in the city seem to think so.

      And for what it’s worth, under reported crime is a problem everywhere. I know a few cops in Chesterfield that have told me about murders, assaults, drug deals, etc that happen out there (albeit with less frequency) but Chesterfield buries them because they don’t want the bad press.

      Also, I live in the inner-city of Kansas City and if I spent the night at Truman and took a ride along in East KC, I’d see the exact same things.

      • Eric

        I just don’t see the reigon willing to work with the city if the city can’t even control the open prostitution that goes on around S. Grand & Meramec in broad daylight. Good, honest people are wanting to get as far away from those types of situations as possible.

        • matimal

          Why would the reduction of prostitution on South Grand change the desire of other local governments in the St. Louis are to cooperate on crime prevention?

        • jhoff1257

          Prostitution should be legal. I see no valid reason for police officers, especially in a city like St. Louis with far more pressing issues, spending time and money on arresting people for having sex. Regulate it and that not only makes it safer for the women (and men) partaking in these acts but would also remove it from the street. The reason it happens the way it does now is because there is no safe way to do it.

          I’m going to go out on a limb and say prostitution isn’t the reason the region isn’t willing to work with the City or visa verse. I would imagine that reluctance to work together is rooted more in ideological beliefs then hookers. And you’d have to be blind to think the City is the sole reason regional corporation isn’t working here. Never mind the rampant municipal corruption in the County, shady contracts, a county employee stealing millions and then killing himself. Both the City, County and the larger region need to get their shit together for us to move forward. It can no longer just be blamed on the City.

    • stldoc

      If we actually followed through with the recommendations in the report that would be a huge step forward in the way we police in the region. Better use of funds, better police training, less abuse and so forth. Although, the one enormous problem facing crime in this region is our gun loving state legislature in Jefferson City that refuses to place gun laws on the books that will keep repeat criminals off the streets. Criminals know that get numerous get out of jail free cards (warnings, probation, light sentences) for robbery, assault, shootings and other gun crimes. Slay, Dotson, District Attorney Jennifer Joyce and others have been “begging” for years but Jefferson City is so afraid of the NRA that even common sense and urgently needed gun laws against criminals is taboo.

      • Okaaay

        So the NRA is what’s keeping the criminals on the streets with weapons committing the violent crimes?

        • Adam

          No, the NRA lobbying against reasonable gun laws is giving criminals easy access to guns. For example, the NRA backed amendment 5 makes it impossible for St. Louis to regulate the flow of guns into the city. Suburbanites and out-state Missourians drive into the city and leave their guns in their cars. Said guns are promptly stolen by criminals. Ironic that these carriers are helping to create the very problem for which they think they need guns. And, of course, the NRA and their donors are eating it up because stolen guns + fear = more gun sales.

          • Okaay

            Ya you’re right I see your point. Those darn suburbanites and out-staters are the real reason for gun violence in the city. Those poor criminals just can’t help themselves, it really isn’t their fault. Seems to work great for Mexico.

          • Adam

            People who bring guns into the city to be stolen are making the problem worse, plain and simple. How many reports do you hear in a given year about a gun owner thwarting a crime? A few nationwide? Maybe one in the St. Louis region? Meanwhile St. Louis City had over 150 murders last year. The extra guns aren’t helping. Since MO’s (NRA-backed) repeal of the permit-to-purchase law in 2007 the state has seen a 14% increase in murders as well as a substantial increase in the number of guns that end up in criminal hands: http://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2014/repeal-of-missouris-background-law-associated-with-increase-in-states-murders.html. It’s pretty cut-and-dry.

          • stldoc

            Okaay, I was referring to criminals with 5 and 10 convictions for gun crimes (assault, robbery, shootings, etc) still out there on the streets. Criminals with long rap sheets still getting probation or crazy light sentences, again and again. It is insane. We need state laws with minimum sentences to both deter new criminals and actual get and keep the repeat criminals off the street. Why would good people actually snitch if they know the criminal is likely going to get probation or a light sentence and be right back on the street to retaliate? What did our legislature do? They put on the ballet and sold a constitutional amendment that made it possible for felons to now have guns. Okaay, imagine yourself getting robbed and assaulted, but luckily enough that they actually caught the guy. How would you feel to find out this guy had a long rap sheet of doing the same or worse to other victims, and then he got probation yet again. I would guess that would make you angry. Imagine having to live next to people like this and how much that would affect you on a daily basis. Always worried and in fear. These criminals destroy neighborhoods, hurt our overall economy and ruin innocent lives. It is not right and we need our legislators to help, but they do not. Serious, no snark, just think about it.

  • matimal

    The problem is that St. Louis won’t change by working together. If it could, it would have long ago. Instead change will come to St. Louis through the conflict between different interests groups and places. In order for St. Louis to up its game, it will have to have some place to offload some share of its ‘burden’ of crime and poverty. That’s the role that north county will play, but north county won’t ‘work together’ with anyone to make this happen. It will happen because north county won’t be able to stop it, and St. Louis city will benefit from pushing some of its burden northward, so it’s not going to worry about ‘cooperating’ with anyone. It’s the St. Louis way…one must fail so that another may succeed. Only now, it won’t always be St. Louis city that fails. I know this sound cynical and uninspiring, but if you have money riding any part of metro St. Louis, this is how you should think about how it will change.

    • stldoc

      Did you read the report? There are numerous ways suggested that will greatly improve our region’s ability to fight crime along with many other substantial benefits. I agree with you that the region’s track record is absolutely terrible in working together but I think the exposure to the dysfunction has gotten so intense that change will happen this time. At least I really hope it does.

      • matimal

        I took about 10 minutes to look through it. I’m arguing that their suggestions are beside the point until local governments in St. Louis see the need to cooperate. I’m not arguing about whether to cooperate, but why they will choose to cooperate in the first place. Only when more than one local government in St. Louis sees crime as series will they cooperate on crime fighting. And only when St. Louis city has pushed some its crime into other local government areas in St. Louis will this happen. This is what explains Ferguson.