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'It’s nothing short of amazing': 1 north St. Louis ward has had no homicides so far in 2022

"This has been a complete, on-the-ground effort by residents and business owners who care about where they live," Alderman John Collins-Muhammad said.

ST. LOUIS — There's some encouraging news about crime trends in St. Louis.

There have been no homicides so far this year in the city's 21st Ward. 

The are other wards without homicides, but the 21st is the only one in north St. Louis.

The 21st Ward

This is an area covering the Penrose, O'Fallon Park and College Hill communities. Part of the ward has non-residential parts of the North Riverfront neighborhood and about three blocks of the Kingsway East neighborhood. 

The most populated neighborhoods are O'Fallon Park and Penrose. 

John Collins-Muhammad is the ward's alderman. 

"It's no secret that north St. Louis has struggled with crime and crime prevention," he said.

He said there are still calls for gunshots and robberies, but after years of crime worsening in his district, 2022 is offering a fresh start.

"Normally, we see our homicide rate at 12-13% in north St. Louis and the ward I represent had its fair share of that," Collins-Muhammad shares. "To see that we are at zero, it’s nothing short of amazing and phenomenal."

Overall, his ward had 11 homicides in 2021. 

The efforts

"Crime takes place where there's no community engagement, where people care less about their communities that's where crime is the highest," the St. Louis native said.

That's why collaborations have been at the forefront this year.

"Building partnerships with our police department, our business owners and community leaders to foster a safe environment," he said. 

Partnerships with nonprofits and more spontaneous patrols have been a part of their efforts, too.

"It gives us that extra protection and I think it does scare of criminals and unwanted activity," Collins-Muhammad said.

He said the partnership with the Real-Time Crime Center has been helpful, with 13 cameras placed in the highest crime areas.

As far as Cure Violence, the area isn't covered by it.

"This has been a complete, on-the-ground effort by residents and business owners who care about where they live," Collins-Muhammad said. 

As for the sudden shift? He believes the pandemic may have been an influence.

"As we are entering post-COVID, I think people are realizing that time is short. I think people are realizing if we don’t take care of our city, who else will do it? I think that’s been the change, people realizing that it’s going to take everyone," he said. 

Collins-Muhammad said these are more than just stats.

"They are more than just numbers, they are deaths, they are fatalities. Someone was gunned down, someone was killed," he said.

Beyond homicides, Collins-Muhammad also said crimes by people have gone down by 22% compared to this time last year.

This news comes as St. Louis homicides dropped 25% in 2021, which were back to pre-pandemic levels.

For a list of St. Louis Police Department's 2022 Homicide Analysis, click here.

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