New Police Districts Reflect Sad Reality

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is currently in the process of redistricting and removing its nine police districts, which have been in place since the 1960’s. It goes without saying that times have changed dramatically since then. The population has dropped by hundreds of thousands of people, some neighborhoods are drastically lower in density, and crime has moved to parts of the city that were once much less dangerous. The police are replacing the nine districts with six, with the result that many of the six remaining districts are growing much larger by square mileage.

In particular, neighborhoods like St. Louis Place, despite having the cliche “aura” of being a “bad neighborhood” just frankly don’t have much crime. Crime requires human beings to be present usually, and in many parts of the neighborhood, such a critical element of crime does not exist in great quantities, if at all. Conversely, the new Third District is more or less the same size, reflecting the continued relative stability of the South Side inside Grand Boulevard. Hopefully the new districts help to further decrease crime in the city, which despite the yellow journalism of local stations, is actually trending in the right way. Perhaps now police will have more time to handle nuisance crimes, or brick theft, as they continue to fight more serious felonies.

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