By Anne Allred
ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - In one of his first sweeping changes as new chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Sam Dotson announced Wednesday he'll change the police district plan that's been around since the 1970s. The current nine police districts will be reduced to six districts.
"The City of St. Louis had a much larger population at that time and over that time crime patterns have shifted, neighborhoods have developed, economic development has happened, its antiquated," said Dotson.
The plan is in its infant stages and still being worked out. Chief Dotson says the districts will be redrawn based on calls for service, crime, workload for officers, and geography.
However, Dotson says if you live in a low crime area you will not lose officers in your current district.
"What you're going to see is a balancing in the city because one of the things we talked about is that criminals don't recognize police boundaries. Criminals move throughout the city so it important to have resources in all parts of the city," Dotson said.
The public will get your say about this new plan once it's finalized. The police department will present the plan to every community in the city and ask for input. Central West End resident Steve Nystrom is anxious to put his two cents in when he gets the chance saying, "It's dependent on the quality of the execution by the police department. I'm optimistic it's in good hands and I look forward to hearing how it's going to be implemented."
It will be about a month before the plan is complete and police can start presenting it to the community. Chief Dotson says once the community has seen the plan it will take four to five months to implement. He went on to say the six districts will be in place by the end of the year.