Photo by Scott Davidson/

With violent crime rates down in St. Louis, city police will soon use a new weapon they hope continues that trend: academic research. Criminologists at the University of Missouri–St. Louis will work to enhance the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s crime-fighting strategies through a partnership announced last month.

A St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial published today praised the initiative.

“There are good signs here,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board wrote about the collaboration. “By nature, police departments are conservative institutions, suspicious of outsiders and slow to change. The city, the courts and cops have shown themselves to be open to innovation and collaboration. The city, and the entire region, will be safer for it.”

The partnership will involve having two UMSL criminologists – a graduate research assistant and Richard Rosenfeld, Curators’ Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice – stationed at St. Louis Police Headquarters. They will work directly with city police officers to analyze data and implement and evaluate crime reduction initiatives.

Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz