Kevin Killeen/KMOX

Police Chief Works on Closing 'Trust Gap' in High Risk Areas

May 10, 2018 - 9:21 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - St. Louis's police chief is responding to a higher murder rate than we saw at this time last year.

Chief John Hayden recognizes the overall murder rate is up, but he notes the most violent areas of the city that comprise "Hayden's Rectangle" have seen a drop in murders.

Hayden told KMOX's Mark Reardon he's also still focusing on what he calls "open air drug markets."

“When you have high or a lot of drug sales on the block, that’s also a block on area, that would also be known for some pretty prevalent shootings as well,” he says.

Hayden reiterated comments from Public Safety Director Jimmy Edwards this week that most murders are drug related or result from domestic disputes or vendettas -- specifically, Hayden says 48 out of the 58 so far have been personal.

Hayden says the department is making good strides toward closing the "trust gap" between police and the community - they're spending a lot of time in community meetings and school.