ST. LOUIS, MO. - They've called Downtown St. Louis their headquarters for nearly four decades, now a large and well-known law firm says it may have to leave.
Brown and Crouppen says violent crime is becoming too common and getting too close, so the firm is considering leaving the city.
Carjackings, murders and attacks. So much crime tape, so much tragedy, so close to the Metropolitan Square building where the Brown and Crouppen law firm is headquartered.
“I worked down here for 20 years and I couldn't tell you where one murder had taken place and now I can give you a sight-seeing tour,” said Ed Herman, a managing partner of the firm which employees 200 people.
He says those employees are increasingly becoming afraid to work downtown.
“I've got employees telling me that they've been buying guns, now they're not allowed to have them in the building but they're keeping them in their cars,” said Herman. “I have employees telling me that they've bought mace. We've got people with tasers.”
Herman says the shooting last weekend at the nearby Hooters, one man dead, two others injured, was the last straw. Violence at the popular lunch spot for downtown workers solidified the idea that it may be time to move.
Herman told Five on Your Side’s Mike Rush, “I want to make it clear, we're not looking for the city to give us any special things, we just want the city to invest their resources in security and safety.”
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson says, “The statistics are that crime is moving down.”
But Dotson says he understands stats don't matter if people don't feel safe.
He says he's trying to work smarter with fewer resources. One example, “Downtown, you've started to see cameras, you've started to see the red and blue blinking cameras. We're using technology.”
But the bottom line, he says, “we need more police officers.”
It’s something the chief been talking about for years, along with court reform to keep criminals off the streets.
Of course those are bigger issues and both parties agree the next mayor needs to make fighting crime the priority.
Current Mayor Francis Slay reached out to Brown and Crouppen.
A meeting is set to try to convince the firm to stay and address employees' concerns.
Brown and Crouppen says while leaving is an option, it ultimately would like to stay put.
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