ST. LOUIS – What’s the best way to tackle the area’s high rate of violent crime? Focus on early intervention, or target the career criminals already preying on their neighbors?
Dan Isom, the city’s interim director of public safety, says we need to do both.
In an exclusive interview with MetroSTL.com’s Charles Jaco, Isom pointed out that crime rates tend to fluctuate over the years, rising and falling. But he noted that most of law enforcement’s time and funds have traditionally been spent on finding and arresting criminals after the fact.
Now, Mayor Tishaura Jones is making early intervention a new priority, and Isom voiced support for that strategy.
People who have strong family and community relationships, plus good jobs, don’t get drawn easily into crime, he said, so investing in programs and jobs for youth and families is vital.
“Those are preventative measures,” Isom said.
He agreed that hard-core criminals must be held accountable and gotten off the streets, but he said the city could do both.