ST. LOUIS - Remember all those car break-ins in Forest Park last year? Police sure do, and they want to make sure there's not a repeat this year.
St. Louis police are increasing security at the park leading into the busy summer season. The Grand Basin at Art Hill will serve as the stage for Fair St. Louis this Fourth of July while the arch grounds are under construction.
Between that and events like Shakespeare in the Park coming up in a few days and shows at the Muny, the stage is also set for a full agenda in the park. There will be lots of people and they'll be met with more protection.
Starting Monday, up to five officers and three armed park rangers will exclusively patrol the park between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. St. Louis police are also working with the more than 70 security guards who work at the art museum, zoo, Science Center and history museum. They'll be trained on how to better spot and respond to suspicious activity in the park.
Visitors we spoke to like the idea of extra protection, but to a point.
"If they're like in the background, it's really cool to be like, okay there's a cop, I feel safe instead of like have them constantly around then you're like okay, I can't have any fun," said Rebecca Franklin, visiting from Indiana.
"You can't relax and enjoy the park. You don't want to be too obtrusive," added Sharayah Sanders, who was with Franklin in the park.
Officers will mostly be in marked vehicles, but you may also see them on ATVs, bikes and horses.