ST. LOUIS — Two St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers were shot in Soulard Thursday night, and now city officials say our city needs more to prevent guns on our streets.
“This is not a battle with a victory line in place," said Jared Boyd, chief of staff to St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones.
Boyd told 5 On Your Side the shooting in Soulard makes one thing clear: fighting crime takes a community.
“Not just with police... we are looking at the proper deployment of police, but with other tools such as our Office of Violence Prevention, such as other investments in our juveniles, who we've seen an uptick of issues, and then also working with our federal partners, whether it's at the FBI or U.S. Attorney's office," he said.
Boyd said when people come to St. Louis for special occasions – like Mardi Gras – crime tends to go down.
“We are thoughtful about public safety every day, but when we bring people to the city for the right reasons, we often see that crime goes down when we populate people in our city for the right reasons," said Boyd. “We want to let them know there will be an additional presence there of not only St Louis police, but public safety folks from across the region.”
Soulard’s 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar also shared how his neighborhood is responding to safety concerns.
“We do we take security in Soulard very seriously. I mean, we have an extensive camera program at all entry and exit points of the neighborhood. We utilize secondary police on a daily basis to help supplement patrols... We have a very active community. And these incidents are rare in our neighborhood. And this could have happened anywhere," said Coatar.
According to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, there were 148 offenses, which includes murder, aggravated assault, simple assault, and intimidation, against officers in 2022.
That represents a 28.5% decrease from 2021. It's a positive step, but city officials said when it comes to fighting crime, there’s no finish line.