St. Louis, MO (KTRS) The state is sending help to combat violent crime in the St. Louis-area.
During a Thursday afternoon press conference, Governor Mike Parson outlined the state’s plan of action. It involves deploying state troopers and other personnel to assist in law enforcement efforts.
“As Governor and a former law enforcement officer for 22 years, protecting the citizens of our state is of utmost importance to my administration. We know we have a serious problem with violent crime that must be addressed,” Parson said.
“After meeting with leaders and organizations at all levels over the past months, we have rolled up our sleeves, gotten to work, and identified the immediate actions we at the state level can take to help get violent criminals off our streets.” Parson added.
The plan consists of five points:
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Strike Force
Two state troopers will be assigned to the ATF Strike Force. As part of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives within the U.S. Department of Justice, the strike force works to protect communities and combat the growing number of violent crimes involving firearms, explosives, arson, and alcohol and tobacco products.
U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force
Two state troopers will be assigned to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, which combines the efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to locate and apprehend the most dangerous fugitives and assist in high profile investigations.
Mission SAVE (Strike Against Violence Early) Task Force
Two state troopers and one cyber analyst will be assigned to the Mission SAVE Task Force. Mission SAVE targets the most violent individuals while also working on long-term drug investigations around organized crime and gang activity.
Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) Interstate Surges
Patrol surges will take place on interstates throughout St. Louis City, primarily on I-70 as well as I-55, I-44, and I-64, with four to six troopers assigned to each surge. The patrol surges are intended to apprehend violent criminals, remove them from the interstates, and free up local officers to patrol other high-crime areas.
U.S. Attorney’s Office Adoptive Cases
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office is working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to assist with federal-level gun and drug cases. In addition to the Assistant Attorneys General the state has already provided, Governor Parson’s plan will assign two additional investigators to this already successful partnership.
Through this collaboration, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has increased the number of gun and drug cases by more than 100 percent from just two years ago. The Violent Crime Unit has already indicted nearly 500 cases so far this year and is currently preparing another 200 cases for indictment. State personnel will help accelerate these efforts.
In addition to the immediate actions beginning in October, Governor Parson’s plan includes other longer-term items to assist with recovery services.
Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Funding
The state currently has approximately $2 million in VOCA funds available specifically for the St. Louis region, which will be used to support Victim Service Days through the Missouri Department of Public Safety. These will be staffed by two program representatives from the Crime Victim Services Unit and two social workers. VOCA funds will also potentially support additional victim advocates in the area.
Probation and Parole Police Partnership
Probation and Parole is currently working with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) on a heightened supervision program for violent offenders. Probation and Parole is looking to better partner with local law enforcement agencies to further this program.
Parson says the total cost of the state’s commitment is up to $4 million. The action plan goes into effect October 1.