St. Louis is experience what is called the "Ferguson effect," as the amount of crime has risen remarkably in just the few months since the August 2014, when Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer. In the last 20 years, the crime rate had been decreasing and subsequently, the amount of on-duty police officers had also dropped. Now, the city is beginning to recognize the need to have more officers on staff.
The Added Costs of Expansion
According to city's mayor and police chief, plans have been made to address the heightened crime situation by adding 160 police officers, which could cost up to $10 million. However, both officials mention the fact that it may be difficult to prove that the rise in crime is in any way correlated to the aftermath of the Ferguson shooting. However, there were 159 reported homicides, the highest seen in close to 20 years.
The city has seen a rise in the following types of crime, including:
Currently, law enforcement is so overloaded that while the number of crimes have risen, arrests are down. By hiring more officers, however, one may expect to find the number of arrests to also begin to rise in response to police presence.
Our lawyer had this to say: "More police in St. Louis means more arrests in St. Louis. If you are arrested, call our office immediately!"
Rebuilding Could Take Years
Officials are banking on community members' support of the proposed plan, with the hope of regaining trust in law enforcement. However, at this time, officials have not yet devised a strategy for raising the money to pay for the additional 160 officers. Even then, it may take years for the tension to ease up and reach pre-Ferguson crime rates.