Missouri Governor promises more resources to fix crime across the state
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A driving campaign issue for the midterms is crime. It’s up across the country and has been since before the 2020 election. Tuesday, News 4′s asking Missouri’s Governor Mike Parson about his new plan to take on crime. We also talked to local business owners to see their needs and how crime is impacting the economy.
“When I opened up, it was detrimental just to have some place, a safe place, for people to go in the community,” Keith Jefferson said.
Jefferson has owned Creative Touch Barber and Beauty Salon in North City for 22 years. He’s seen his fair share of crime located on North Kingshighway just off I-70.
“The four blocks over to here, it was always crime that was going on. You name it, it was going on,” Jefferson explained.
It’s something Jefferson said has come and gone, but has always impacted his business. Tuesday, Governor Parson said he aims to fix that.
“If violent crime is one of your major issues in your city, then you need to get the resources in there to fix it,” Parson said.
The Governor said he wants to see more officers on the streets, a focus on community policing and prosecutors putting criminals away. Parson said the St. Louis city’s prosecutor, Kim Gardner, is part of the crime problem.
“I definitely think he can do a much better job than she’s been doing. I think statistically, you can look at that and see what the crime rate is up here, and I don’t think there’s a question about that,” Parson said.
One tool the governor wants to implement in local police departments are new license plate readers. The new technology will scan license plates while cars are driving. It will offer information that other local departments in the area can share to help better patrol the region. However, these aren’t the typical plate readers most officers are already using.
“They can tell you the tail light configuration, what type the car is, of course, capture the color of it and then does that plate belong on that car. We compare those reads to the hot list, like stolen cars, wants, warrants, things like that,” State Director of Public Safety, Sandra Karsten, explained.
Governor Parson said it will take the entire community to help reduce crime in addition to resources provided.
“If you live here or work here this is where you thrive at. If you don’t go out and make a change, then who’s going to make a change for you,” Jefferson said.
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