St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers and recruiting van

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Patch

Site LE Agency
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department

Site Researcher
Beth Huebner, Ph.D., University of Missouri - St. Louis & Joseph Schafer, Ph.D., Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

Site Focus
Violent Crime, Gun Violence

SPI Strategy
Hot spot policing, offender-oriented policing, criminal justice system collaboration

Site Cohort

Site Profile
Mid-sized urban area of 66.2 sq. miles with a population of 318,727

Project Overview

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office will unite to address “chronically high levels” of violent crime, specifically from firearm violence. The team aims to create better investigations, quicker arrests, and faster prosecution of the city’s most violent offenders. A dedicated unit, housed in the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Intelligence Division, will consist of detectives focused on gun crime, a crime analyst, a firearms examiner and an Assistant Circuit Attorney. The goals of the specialized unit are to:(1) reduce the firearm related homicides and non-fatal shootings while increasing the clearance rates of homicides and non-fatal shootings; (2) improve the apprehension and prosecution of perpetrators of gun violence through consistent, geographic-based investigation and prosecution, and; (3) increase community trust in police and criminal justice. To achieve these goals, this investigative team will: develop a geographic-centered partnership to provide swift and certain responses to gun crime in pre-defined, high-crime communities; coordinate and focus criminal justice resources (local, state, federal) to investigate, arrest, and prosecute prolific violent offenders of gun violence; and partner with victim services agencies to provide victim services to those impacted by such gun crime. Strategic partners include: The University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Criminology and Criminal Justice Department to conduct process and outcome evaluations; and The Crime Victim Advocacy Center of St. Louis.

Data Highlight

  • Homicides in St. Louis increased from 159 in 2014 to 188 in 2015, representing an 18.2 percent increase. In 2014, 71 (44.7 percent) homicides were cleared by SLMPD. In 2015, 91 (48.4 percent) were cleared. 
  • In St. Louis, aggravated assaults with a gun rose 13.4 percent between 2014 and 2015, from 1844 to 2092. However, the clearance rate of aggravated assaults with a gun decreased 2.8 percent over that time period, from 31.0 percent to 28.2 percent.