St. Louis, Mo. (KSDK) -- After four murders in just over a week, the people of north St. Louis say enough is enough.
Nearly 100 people packed into an emergency meeting at O'Fallon rec Saturday to hear from police and elected officials and to make sure their voices were heard.
One thing that came out of the meeting was a reinforcement of the "know your neighbor" strategy. Police say get to know your neighbors and make sure the bad guys know you care and are watching. If they know that, they know it's not safe to do what they do on your street.
"I've lived here since '64. Most of the people have lived here very long, own their own homes. We don't want to see our property value go down. We want our neighborhoods to be safe," says Shirley Everett.
"I know a lot of people in the College Hill area that was affected by the incident the other day when people were killed," adds Wendell Harris.
He says too often people don't come forward with details about crimes, for fear of retribution.
"If we don't talk with people to give information, this will continue on."
"We have to improve that as a police department and be more professional and understand the citizens," shares Major Ronnie Robinson with St. Louis police. "And also understand that some of them have fear because of the neighborhoods they live in."
Robinson says most of the shooting and killing is being done by a few groups, but the problem is widespread.
"...it hasn't always been like that, but that's a culture we have to understand and recognize, and that's a problem and issue that we have to deal with. And if you don't deal with it then it only gets worse."
He tells us stopping gang recruitment is key.
"...as far as on a continuous basis, being involved with individuals that we think are recruiting kids to gangs or putting pressure on kids to gangs, and we'll get to the root of the problem."
"Until their mindset changes, we won't ever get rid of the problems," Everett says.
Recent crimes prompted Alderman Antonio French to call this emergency meeting.
We asked how this meeting is any different from meetings just like it before.
"This is always step one for us. We've done this before. We have attacked areas before that were very violent and we reduced the violence drastically in those areas," French says. College Hill is a new area for us. This meeting was bringing a lot of people together along with the police, along with elected officials to talk about this problem and how we're going to address this problem."
Moving forward, they're encouraging people to work together to keep an eye on their streets and take away one street at a time where these would-be perps feel safe committing violent crimes without getting caught.
Major Robinson also stressed that anyone who calls in a tip can remain anonymous and hopes that encourages people to start sharing information with police because lives depend on it.