Missouri's New Attorney General Announces "Safer Streets" Initiative for St. Louis

Eric Schmitt is teaming with the U.S. Attorney's office to battle gun crime

Brett Blume
January 22, 2019 - 12:31 pm
Eric Schmitt

Brett Blume/KMOX

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — The Missouri Attorney General's office and the United States Attorney for this region are joining forces to battle gun crime on the streets of St. Louis.

Eric Schmitt was recently sworn in as Missouri's Attorney General and says this is a plan he wanted to pursue right away.

In what he called an unprecedented move, Schmitt said nearly a half-dozen of his assistant attorneys general will be specifically deputized to increase his office's power to prosecute violent crime.

"Today, I'm committing the state's resources to a problem that matters greatly to this city, and this state. Local and federal law enforcement have made great strides, and I think by working together, we can create safer streets."

Schmitt held a press conference at the Old Post Office in which he announced plans to team up with U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen's office to target gun criminals.

"Our partnership will focus on specific areas of the city at first. Our prosecutors will focus on crime created in the most dangerous areas, including (Police Chief) Hayden's Triangle."

That rectangle is bordered by Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, Goodfellow, West Florissant and Vandeventer. Schmitt pointed out that concentrated policing has already reduced murders there by about 20-percent.

According to Schmitt, there were more than 180 homicides in St. Louis last year, and carjackings occurred at a rate of more than one per day.

Jensen said they expect to add 150-to-200 cases per year to their workload in the U.S. Attorney's office, which is currently about 50 cases annually.

He's pitched his plan to both the St. Louis police department and Mayor Lyda Krewson, which he said resulted in "good meetings" concerning future cooperation.

Related: Eric Schmitt Appointed as New Missouri Attorney General