Commissioner's Correspondence

COMMISSIONER’S CORRESPONDENCE – Highlighting progress we have made towards reducing violent crime in St. Louis .

Photo of Chief TracySince being appointed to serve as your Police Commissioner, I have been working alongside the dedicated commissioned and civilian members of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to help make our communities safer.

Many of our efforts this year have revolved around implementing a range of proven crime strategies, ranging from community policing to CompStat, intelligence-led policing to leveraging technology. These strategies were the subject of my first installment of this series Commissioners Correspondence - First Edition (PDF), and you can learn more about our Comprehensive Public Safety Strategy.

As we near the fourth quarter of 2023, I am proud to share with you that we have already been seeing progress. Notably, we have seen a 20% decrease in murders so far this year – with 118 incidents in 2023 compared with 147 in 2022 as of September 24. We have also seen an overall 20% decrease in Part 1 Uniform Crime Reporting offenses, which include aggravated assault, robbery, burglary and various types of thefts.

There of course remains much work to be done, but I am confident that our layered crime strategies will continue to bring about promising results.

I would also like to share a little about the time I spent with our latest Police Academy graduates. Earlier this month, I joined them after they completed the Arch Run, a long-standing tradition marking the end of our academy’s physical training program. The following week, I was proud to celebrate the graduation of our 10 newest police officers. I hope you will join me in welcoming these new faces to our department.

While our department continues to experience some of the same staffing challenges as agencies across the country, we have been making progress. Our latest academy is a prime example, and this graduating class will soon be followed by another class that is already in the process. Recognizing our high number of vacant positions, we have expedited our processes so that we can begin police academy classes on a more frequent basis – ensuring that applicants can complete their training and begin their service to our neighborhoods sooner.

We have also welcomed several police officers who had previously left our department back to the City of St. Louis. These public servants may have left for better pay or another opportunity, but now they have decided to return to our department and continue their service here. I am appreciative of Mayor Jones and our City leadership for their support as we have increased salary and benefits for our officers to ensure that our positions are competitive with our partner agencies throughout the region. This has not only increased morale throughout the ranks, but is helping to encourage more new and returning officers to consider joining the SLMPD family.

Commissioner's Correspondence