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Headline after headline illustrates the heartbreaking story of violent crime in the St. Louis metro area. No one should feel unsafe in their community.

As the executive director of the St. Louis County Police Association and a veteran police officer, I am encouraged by Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s “Safer Streets” initiative. His unprecedented plan is giving law enforcement the tools needed to tackle our metastasizing violent crime problem.

This initiative is groundbreaking for Missouri, as well as for the rest of the country. Under this program, the assistant attorneys general in his office will be specially designated to work directly with the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Missouri to prosecute violent criminals.

The law enforcement community knows and trusts Schmitt. We believe in him as we all work together to make our communities safer.

Joe Patterson • Brentwood

Executive Director, St. Louis County Police Association