St. Louis murder rate becomes top priority for business leaders.

Reducing the homicide rate in St. Louis is the top priority, according to a new policy document released by two of the region’s leading economic groups. The white paper outlines steps that regional leaders can take to reduce murders, which it acknowledges has become a major barrier to economic growth and prosperity. The call for action comes as St. Louis Mayor Tishaula O. Jones has called for a regional crime summit to address the city’s high murder rates. Business leaders have long invested in law enforcement research, but the white paper gives Greater St. Louis a more prominent role in addressing public safety.

The paper cites research that suggests a 10% reduction in homicides is reasonable and achievable, but it will require sustained commitment from local leaders. The economic group recommends the establishment of local violence prevention agencies to track progress and report to the public. The most important approach is “focused deterrence,” which involves police focusing resources on individuals who induce homicides in the community and providing social services during face-to-face interviews at home or confrontations, presenting the option of helping escape.

While proactive approaches have been successful in reducing crime, limited resources, particularly the supply of police officers, become a real problem when police officers are simply responding to the radio. The paper emphasizes the need to allocate resources to reduce homicides while responding to growing public calls for better traffic and a better quality of life.

St. Louis consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous cities, but readers must be careful in how such lists are created. Additionally, the community should watch carefully for Police and Protests Weekly updates highlighting police protest reporting and the government’s response to calls for reform.

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