Busy Downtown St. Louis Weekend Raises Need for Security, Security Forces | Saint-Louis news headlines
ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Tens of thousands are expected in downtown St. Louis this weekend, as the Cardinals host their last home of the season and the annual “Q in the Lou “takes place.
It comes amid the city’s newly implemented crime plan, which includes adding about 30 officers to the city center to help with patrols.
A grand jury has indicted a St. Louis city sheriff’s deputy with second degree murder in the shooting death of a man in Spanish Lake last year.
“Things being as bad as they have been with crime in St. Louis, we were asked to train these few details where we walk downtown and take MetroLink,” said City Sheriff Vernon Betts.
Betts agents are also helping block parts of Washington Avenue that have been deemed unsafe over the weekend, in large part due to drag racing and other crime.
Earlier this week, a city sheriff’s deputy on leave was charged with second degree murder following a shooting that took place in Spanish Lake earlier this year. Following the indictment, St. Louis County District Attorney Wesley Bell said the sheriff’s deputies were not “licensed police officers.”
Although MPs do not have the right to arrest people, Sheriff Betts said the department is giving all officers the 600 hours of training needed to become postal officers, which gives everything officer the right to make an arrest on the street.
Following Bell’s comments, Betts said morale was being negatively affected.
“I can only find three guys who want to work on Saturdays,” he said. “The hubbub is already going through the store, that if we’re going to be in trouble trying to help people, there’s no need to get angry.”
The man who police said was the victim of a carjacking in Spanish Lake last year speaks about the MP he said saved his life.
Many who visit downtown this weekend will be attending the Cardinals’ final homestand of the season.
“We were just talking about the beauty of the outside, the fact that people are everywhere right now, the Cardinals festivities here,” said Michael Cox, a Cards fan. “The Cardinals have done a great job of space it all out and it’s so refreshing to be here.”
Paul Morgan, who suffers from ALS and is in a wheelchair, said he was delighted to get out of the house and enjoy the fresh air.
“2020 sucked and to be back to enjoy things is amazing,” he said. “Just seeing people’s faces and everything is a pleasure.”
A few blocks from Busch Stadium, Q in the Lou kicked off Friday night, bringing some of the country’s best barbecue food to town. The three-day festival will take place on Market Street next to Kiener Plaza.
“So far it’s beautiful, a lot of excitement, a lot of people here, it seems very busy and I like the vibe right now,” said a woman named Risha, who is from Tennessee.
Events like these, combined with conferences and activities at the America’s Center Dome, are crucial to the fight against downtown crime, according to city hall officials.
Over the weekend, city officials said they were pleased with the relatively small amount of violence that took place with the additional officers on the streets helping to patrol.
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