St, Louis County, MO (KTRS) The St. Louis County Police Department has a new law enforcement tool.
On Tuesday county leaders unveiled the Special Response Unit, which will focus on community policing and feature two-officer patrol cars. St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said this initiative the benefit to the community is two-fold.
“The SRU is a collective of officers assigned to the Division of Special Operations who are involved in the targeted enforcement of street level crimes, quality of life issues, and persistent offenders who negatively impact the community,” Stenger said. “The unit uses 2 police officers in every patrol car to improve community interaction and works in strong collaboration with the Division of Patrol and Division of Criminal Investigations while sharing criminal intelligence information to address the causes of crime.”
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar calls this “a long time dream come true.”
“This unit, a first for St. Louis County, will be comprised of officers trained in skill sets appropriate for addressing a variety of challenges,” Belmar said. “Their responsibilities include everything from responding to specific crime trends or problem individuals to helping
with crisis intervention and community engagement.”
The SRU will initially operate with a total of 16 officers. Belmar plans to expand the unit to 24 officers by the end of the year.
The new unit is being funded by the public safety sales tax Proposition P.