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Customers will soon see St. Louis police patrolling Crown Food Marts after recent violence, owners say

"We always want to keep our customers and workers safe. We think a police presence will help keep everybody safe," said Hany Said.

ST. LOUIS — "We like this community," said Hany Said.

For 30 years, Said's family has owned 17 Crown Food Marts in Missouri and Illinois.

Ten of their businesses are in the city of St. Louis.

"Business is great. We have nothing to complain about it. We make sure all of our customers are safe," said Said.

Now, he said they're taking extra steps to keep their customers and employees safe.

"We're going to hire police officers to surround all the stores," added the Store Manager.

Under their new, security plan, they plan to hire four St. Louis police officers to patrol in their squad cars around all of their gas stations in the city.

Customers will soon see them seven days a week, around the clock.

"If the officers see any fights, anything, they go right away and stop it," said Hany Said.

The uniformed officers will also be on duty on foot at the stores.

Stores that currently have 32 security cameras inside and outside.

"Crime's everywhere in the city. It's not good. We have issues, but not just our stores. It's anywhere you go," said Said.

"I'm just sick of all the violence and I think something needs to be done," said Renee Coleman a frequent Crown Foot Mart customer.

"I think it's great. They need to patrol," said Coleman.

"I don't feel like police are the answer for this," said 26th Ward Alderwoman Shameem Clark Hubbard.

This week's deadly shootings, outside two Crown Food Marts in north city, happened in Alderwoman Shameem Clark Hubbard's 26th ward.

Balloons now blow in the wind by the gas station pump where 34-year-old Shree Hemphill, a mother of two, was shot and killed.

RELATED: 'She touched a lot of hearts': Innocent woman killed in gas station shooting

"Police are absolutely a reactive solution to crime problems like this. We, politicians, clergy members, business owners and many other stakeholders, we all need to come to the table, address the crime issues beforehand and be more proactive," said Alderwoman Clark Hubbard.

"It's sad what happened to Shree Hemphill. Our condolences to her family. That's why we want to get the police coming out at our businesses," said Hany Said.

Said tells 5 On Your Side next week they will sign the contracts and seal their new plan.

He also says the police officers should be in place, outside their stores, within two weeks.

 

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