After an epidemic of violent crime in the St. Louis area, a new task force has been announced that will unite federal and local agencies in an attempt to put the spree to an end.
While just announced, the task force known as Mission SAVE has been active since December. The program has been responsible for 78 arrests, 16 of which were identified as being some of the most violent criminals in St. Louis.
The successful partnership between St. Louis Police, the DEA, the FBI, and prosecutors has adopted a multifaceted approach to the problem. They have started by adding 160 new officers to St. Louis, vastly improving the city’s ability to patrol itself.
However, the Mission SAVE program has done more than just put boots on the ground. Mission SAVE has so far focused specifically on individuals known for committing acts of violence in the community.
“The number of people that commit your very violent crime in any given area are actually very small,” said Chief Jon Belmar of the St. Louis County Police. The members of this very small group have been the target of extra scrutiny from local law enforcement.
Rather than just arresting many of the more violent offenders, the task force has taken steps to convince them to police themselves and their communities. Notorious gang leaders have been called by police and warned that if anyone in their sphere of influence commits a violent crime, then the gang leader will find their parole revoked. These same leaders also have their social media accounts and activities subjected to direct scrutiny.
Due to the prior success of Mission SAVE, a join office dedicated to its activities will be opened in the next few weeks and provide a home base for more than 50 officers from across the city.