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Bosley repeats appeal for National Guard in city

CITY HALL – Alderman Brandon Bosley’s solution to the wave of violence and murders sweeping the city includes National Guard troops, state troopers and other help from Missouri’s government.

Bosley, whose north side 3rd Ward has seen much of that violence, pitched the idea in a speech at the end of Friday’s Board of Aldermen meeting. He said he was sending out numerous letters to Gov. Mike Parson, the media and others promoting his plan.

“I’m asking for any support he can give us. I’m asking for support from the National Guard, state troopers,” Bosley told reporters after the meeting.

No one is safe in this city, Bosley said. “There has to be a call for justice. Things have to change, or it will get worse.”

Bosley’s speech included a litany of what he has said in the past about the seriousness of crime in the city.

“We cannot continue to have a 50, 60 percent chance of getting away with a homicide,” Bosley said. “We have to do something about this.”

If all that sounds familiar, it’s because Bosley made the same suggestion earlier this year. Asked for a comment, city police public information officer Evita Caldwell referred to what police Chief John Hayden said at that time.

“The Chief spoke about this at an open forum put on by Alderman Bosley when he originally presented this idea back in April,” Caldwell wrote in an e-mail on Friday.  “At the forum, the Chief stated he is committed to working with the community on practical solutions to combat crime in the neighborhood as the National Guards’ function is not that of law enforcement.”

Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards rejected Bosley’s April proposal in a statement issued at that time.

“While I understand Alderman Bosley’s frustration about the crime in his Third Ward, I strongly disagree with the militarization of north St. Louis City,” Edwards said in the statement. “The deployment of the National Guard to address domestic disputes, road rage, personal feuds and street level drug crimes and the like is unacceptable.”

Bosley took another step Friday to fight violence, when he introduced a bill that would tighten the curfew.

The curfew now is 11 p.m. His bill would lower the curfew for those 17 and under to 9:30 on weeknights and 10 p.m. on weekends.

“Those kids need to be in the house,” he said. “There’s no reason if you’re not an adult to be outside after hours with all these things going out in the city.”

Bosley said he’d make sure police enforced the proposed new curfew and would send out notices about the curfew to homes.

The Board of Aldermen’s Public Safety Committee will hold a hearing on the bill at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Room 208 of City Hall.

 

Jim Merkel

southsidemerkel@gmail.com Born and raised in the St. Louis area, Jim Merkel covered communities throughout the area from 1991 to 2013 for the old Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis. He is the author of five books about the Gateway City published by Reedy Press. The latest is Growing Up St. Louis: Looking Back Through the Decades. He and his wife, Lorraine, live in the Bevo Mill neighborhood of south St. Louis with Miss Jenny the Cat. For more about Jim, visit www.jimmerkelthewriter.com.

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