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Gov. Parson announces grant to combat violent crime in St. Louis

Gov. Parson Hemness interview
Posted at 3:03 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 16:03:43-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced on Wednesday a $1 million grant for a St. Louis organization to combat crime in its city.

The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis will receive the funding for its Servicing Our Streets Initiative. The initiative focuses on gun violence, de-escalation and providing resources to victims, Parson said.

The grant, according to the governor, had been in the works since 2019.

Parson also announced that the Missouri Senate has passed two bills during its special session on violent crime. H.B. 66 will provide resources for security of victims, witnesses and their immediate families, while H.B. 46 eliminates residency restrictions on officers in the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

“The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is currently down by more than 140 officers and this legislation can help fill that gap,” Parson said.

James Clark, vice president of public safety and community response for ULSTL, told St. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK-TV the grant is a good first start.

“This is an excellent start; this is the first time we have had this level of concentrated resources put directly into neighborhoods,” Clark told KSDK. “This funding will allow us to expand the number of neighborhoods receiving intensive crime reduction interventions.”

Legislators convened for special session in July.

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the 41 Action News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015.