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Chief Hayden says his strategy is working, expands hot spot policing

Citywide, both the homicide and robbery rates are down by 25% this year.
Credit: KSDK

For the last several months, we've heard Police Chief John Hayden tell us that his strategy is working.

Wednesday night, he shared numbers that back that up, but not everyone at his Town Hall meeting saw it that way.

"I’m tired of all the crime going on," said Una Rodgers.

Rodgers came into the meeting with deep concerns and high expectations.

"No one seems to care about us, it seems like we’re just left to rot," she said. "I want to see something different."

We spoke to Rodgers before the meeting. This was her wish.

"I’m hoping to hear progress," she said.

Police Chief John Hayden summed up the carjacking crisis in four words.

"Very challenging ongoing problem," he told the crowd at Forest Park Community College.

Chief Hayden said of the 333 carjackings so far in 2018, 37 of those carjacked vehicles have been recovered by the Carjacking Task Force.

But, he said the strategy of using 'Hayden's Rectangle” – where they saturate one area of the city to fight crime – is working.

"Certainly we believe the rectangle concept works," said Hayden.

In the rectangle, the homicide rate is down 26 percent, robberies down 22 percent and they're not sure about carjacking numbers because they just recently started to track those.

Citywide, both the homicide and robbery rates are down by 25 percent this year.

With those numbers in mind, the chief announced two new "rectangles."

The first, he calls the Central region, encompasses downtown from Delmar Blvd down to Chouteau Ave.

The second, in South City, from Cherokee St to Gasconade St.

"Everything from the surveillance, special enforcement, the visibility, the relationship building," said Hayden.

It's a new strategy, but Una wasn't convinced.

"I won’t say miffed but I’m still questioning what’s going to happen," said Rodgers.

She's pleased that certain crime is down, but is leaving this meeting with many of the same concerns.

"I think there’s some work to be done, a lot of work," she said.

Chief Hayden did not take questions from reporters following the event but did answer audience questions.

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