ST. LOUIS — Hours after a violent night in St. Louis, in which four people were killed, the city is a step closer to bringing in an international organization to try to help crackdown on violent crime.
A final vote could occur in a few weeks on an $8 million proposal to start a Cure Violence program in St. Louis. On Tuesday, the public safety committee unanimously passed it out of committee, a step toward that final vote.
City Hall was packed Tuesday morning as Cure Violence leaders explained how they could help St. Louis curb violence.
"There's no amount of money we can put on saving a life," said Marcus McAllister, who is an international trainer for Cure Violence.
Cure Violence is an international organization that looks to curb violent crime with a three-pronged approach: find and stop conflicts, find and help high-risk people, and change the social norm of communities.
McAllister said the key is getting people in the neighborhoods to buy in. Most of the money spent by the organization goes to hiring a support team in the areas they're trying to help.
Darren Seals, who said he has been shot 13 times, said it was a lack of investment in his neighborhood that once led him down a dark path.
"My neighborhood made me go to the streets," he said.
Cure Violence is in 25 cities across America. Last year, 5 On Your Side looked at the program in New Orleans and whether it could be replicated in St. Louis.
In New Orleans, they saw a significant drop in murders during their first year.
If the board of aldermen give final approval in a few weeks, Cure Violence could be in St. Louis within months.
They hope to have four sites, which would have an expected cost of $500,000 a year to maintain. Most of it to hire people from these neighborhoods as advocates.
As for where the locations could be in St. Louis, Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed said final decisions would only be made if the bill is set to pass.
Areas like Dutchtown, Greater Ville, and Jeff Vanderlou are neighborhoods being looked at, all which have violent crime numbers rising this year at least 25 percent, according to St. Louis police data.
Reed said ultimately the health department would be in charge of the $8 million total for the Cure Violence program over three years.
A final vote is expected in the coming weeks.
More local news: