LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California used to be known as the "Bank Robbery Capital of the World."
The Los Angeles Times reports the number of robberies has declined, part of a larger trend that has seen crime rates fall across the nation.
There were 212 bank robberies last year — the lowest since the 1960s — in a seven-county region overseen by the FBI's Los Angeles office.
During the worst year in 1992, more than two dozen Los Angeles banks were robbed in a single day.
Authorities say better security at banks such as bulletproof acrylic glass has made it harder for bandits to get access to money. They also credit the ability to make high-resolution images of robbers available to the public through the Internet.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A group of Missouri law enforcement officials are asking state lawmakers to create special armed-offender dockets for courts in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas.
A task force led by Attorney General Chris Koster issued the recommendations Friday as part of a report on curbing urban violence. The report asks the Legislature to consider special dockets that would prioritize violent offenses committed with firearms.
The group also asked law enforcement to boost cooperation and make better use of surveillance technology. It also recommended salary increases for county sheriffs.
Koster says Missouri's two largest cities each had more than 100 homicides last year. City officials and police department representatives from St. Louis City, Kansas City and St. Louis County joined Koster on the task force.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A jury has awarded a $7.5 million judgment to a former St. Louis police officer who claimed her supervising sergeant sexually harassed her and that she suffered retaliation for complaining.
The Post-Dispatch reports Tanisha Ross-Paige was awarded $300,000 in compensatory damages and $7.2 million in punitive damages from the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners for retaliation. The jury found in favor of the police board on a discrimination claim.
Ross-Paige's lawyer John Eccher called Friday's verdict "absolutely huge for this type of case." A police spokeswoman declined comment.
The original lawsuit claimed Sgt. Steven Gori distributed a mock "wanted" poster with Ross-Paige's picture and comments about her body. The suit claims Gori and a lieutenant gave Ross-Paige unfavorable shifts and different performance evaluations after she complained.