A Comprehensive Approach to Address Crime in Our City

Release 1 – Police Staffing Assessment
A Series of Policies That are Part of:


A Stronger, Safer, More Unified City
Currently, St. Louis city has 1,368 uniformed police officers. That amounts to 2.42 officers per 100 people. In order to effectively provide protection for our citizens, we must take a comprehensive look at how many police officers we need to address the needs of our citizens. An assessment of appropriate police officer staffing levels requires more than a ratio of number of officers to population. We have to look deeper into the determinants of the level of crime and distress in a particular area to get a good sense of the appropriate number of officers needed. We have to look at an officer to crime ratio, more so than an officer to citizen ratio. St. Louis City is an urban core city that is landlocked with a relatively small geographic footprint and with a higher population density than sprawling cities or other suburban areas or combinations of urban & suburban populations. According to the Rockefeller Institute of Government’s ‘Urban Hardship Index’ cities should compare six factors, equally weighted and combined, to a national standard to determine the level of hardship of a particular urban core, with the higher the score meaning the higher the hardship. Those factors are: • • • • • • Unemployment (% of population unemployed over age 16) Dependency (% of population under 18 or over 64) Education (% of population over 25 with less than HS education) Income Level (per capita income) Crowded Housing (% of occupied housing units with more than one person per room) Poverty (% of population below federal poverty level)

A Comprehensive Approach to Address Crime in Our City
Release 1 – Police Staffing Assessment – (cont.)
Along with the ‘Hardship Score’ we must also consider the number of (non-police) law enforcement agencies that are active within the City of St. Louis, in comparison to other urban core cities. Currently, the only active law enforcement agency on patrol in the city of St. Louis is the municipal police department. When comparing St. Louis to other cities and their number of police officers, we must also consider that many of them have additional law enforcement agencies (sheriffs, etc.) that are actively on the streets patrolling and making arrests. Lewis Reed understands that differences in the breadth of functions and the nature of police service needs make comparing cities by officer-to-citizen ratios alone misleading and unacceptable policy. He knows that service demand characteristics, the scope of police functions, as well as the socio-demographic and socio-economic attributes of the community served are more appropriate factors for assessing police staffing needs When Lewis Reed becomes Mayor of the City of St. Louis, part of his plan to address crime will be to perform a comprehensive assessment (considering the factors shown above) of our policing needs and direct the necessary resources to meet the needs of our citizens and make St. Louis a safer place to live. Lewis Reed will make sure we have the appropriate officer to citizen ratio and the appropriate officer to crime ratio necessary to keep you safe. After determining an appropriate number of officers, we can then look at the budget for other measures to enhance the performance of the department. Lewis Reed will also actively address the underlying causes of crime, so that we can begin to positively impact the six factors listed above, and in so doing reduce the prevalence of crime in our community. Those plans will be contained in separate releases. Lewis Reed will do what is necessary to begin to decrease the level of crime in our city.