By Elizabeth Matthews
St. Louis (KSDK) - It's incidents like the recent murder of Megan Boken that have shaken everyone throughout the St. Louis Metro area, and Wednesday night St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom admitted they don't know why the crime level is up.
Chief Isom attended a neighborhood security meeting Wednesday night and it seemed like he just wanted to have a conversation with the residents, saying at one point, quite frankly we don't know why this year is worse than last, he was talking about the gun violence.
The monthly meeting was at full capacity, those interested in the safety and security of the Central West End lined the walls and even spilled into the hallway.
The reason? Most likely the random murder of 23-year-old Megan Boken, which brought Chief Isom to the meeting as the guest speaker for a candid discussion.
"To be quite frank with you, these two men who committed this murder were not on our radar," said the chief. "These were two men that did not live in the City of St. Louis, they had virtually no record at all and so those are people that we wouldn't have been looking for in the first place, they were completely off the radar screen."
Before Boken's death, Chief Isom had a 30 day plan to move 100 officers to nights and focus on hot spots where violent crime is most prevalent.
"Certainly right now we are going through a bad period, no one can say we are not, so we will continue to fight," said Chief Isom.
The Central West End is increasing security measures, going from five community cameras to 21 and investing in off duty officer bike patrols.
"What would it say of a community if something horrific like this happened and there wasn't some sort of outcry from the residents," said Jim Whyte, Executive Director for the CWE's Safety Initiative Group.
That 30 days of more patrols started last Friday and the chief says it's too early to tell if it's helping, but they'll re-evaluate next month and go from there.