Save Lives Now!

May 23, 2024 marked the first meeting of the Save Lives Now! Advisory Council co-chaired by St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page. About 75 people attended the event held at St. Louis County Library’s Florissant Valley branch. The meeting included a full presentation on the Save Lives Now! plan and structure, anti-violence tactics, progress, and future steps. See agenda. See presentation.

Thank you to all who attended, and to our partners! Save Lives Now Advisory Council Meetings are open to the public and will be held quarterly. The next meeting will be held in late summer. Contact if you have any questions or need more information.

Check back here for future meeting announcements

Save Lives Now! (SLN) is a regional St. Louis initiative designed to rapidly reduce violent street crime by 20% over three years starting in the winter of 2024-2025.

SLN coordinates proven anti-violence tactics, technical assistance, and crime data across law enforcement and governmental jurisdictions, neighborhoods, service providers and local residents. Though regional in scope, SLN focuses resources in areas in St. Louis city and county and St. Clair County identified to have high incidents of violent crime.

Intensive Coordination and Focus

SLN is highly coordinated to ensure police, prosecutors, courts, communities, service providers, other stakeholders, and residents are aligned with information, expertise, technical support, data collection, and funding.

SLN focuses violence reduction tactics on the very small number of people in the St. Louis region causing a large portion of the region’s devastating street violence, including shootings and homicides. Data finds that just %.16 of the population causes approximately 30% of the violent crime in the region. Police, neighborhoods, and multiple partners collaborate to identify individuals and groups of individuals most at risk for causing or being caught up in street violence.

Three Proven Tactics to Reduce Street Violence

SLN utilizes three evidence-based anti-violence strategies that have been highly successful in other urban areas around the country. Research finds these tactics significantly reduce street violence in a short period of time when done with fidelity.

Focused Deterrence

A nationally recognized model of police work that has successfully reduced violence and homicides in Chicago (37%), Philadelphia (35%), Indianapolis (34%), Boston (31%), and Kansas City (21%). Focused deterrence leverages data to focus law enforcement and community resources on a set of individuals who are at the highest risk for perpetuating violence or becoming victims of violent crime. Police and other supports continually reach out to these individuals through either meetings or a trusted messengers to deliver two critical messages:

Message 1: We know who you are, what you are doing, and, if violence continues, we will stop you. Consequences are communicated, including arrest, prosecution and incarceration, as well as clear facts about the lifelong impact of continued violence and incarceration on the individual and the devastating collateral damage to loved ones.

Message 2: If you commit to stopping, we will connect you with supports, services, and treatment to help you exit the cycle of crime.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

(CBT) practitioners engage individuals who want out of the cycle of violence to help them strengthen their decision-making processes. CBT provides them with behavioral strategies to de-escalate emotions and make executive decisions that do not result in violence. This strategy interrupts cycles of violence primarily by changing how individuals react to stressful, sometimes traumatic situations. Other supports are also wrapped around CBT, including drug counseling, education services, housing services, and job training. Research on CBT suggests the tactic significantly reduces violent crime and recidivism among high risk individuals, particularly in reducing retaliatory violence. One review of 58 different CBT programs nationwide, found that the programs reduced recidivism by a quarter.

Street Outreach

Professionals work in specific neighborhoods to engage and support individuals and groups at high risk for violence. They are considered “trusted messengers” within the communities, and use this earned trust to mediate and resolve conflicts so they do not result in violence. They further act as a pipeline to services for at-risk individuals to more easily access CBT and other services. Other duties include being active and present in assigned neighborhoods; supporting victims and their families; mentoring victims who may be likely to commit future violence; and reclaiming public spaces for healthy and safe community activities.

Coordination Is Essential

SLN succeeds when police, courts, service providers, neighborhoods, residents, and governments are informed, empowered with data, trained, and aligned so they understand and utilize the three strategies in a coordinated manner. Communication and standard implementation across jurisdictions is essential. Alignment among law enforcement, support services, community members, and governments is best achieved through two new structures:

A Save Lives Now! Advisory Council

Meets quarterly to report out data, progress, milestones, and other information, engage with public and partners, and make adjustments as needed. The advisory council includes government, law enforcement, area stakeholders, and neighborhood representation. See the current roster of members here. The first meeting of the Advisory Council was May 23, 2024. The next meeting will meet in late August. Check back for more details.

A Save Lives Now! Anti-Violence Hub

Consists of a director and staff will provide assistance and coordination to both the Save Lives Now! Advisory Council and to members of the implementation team, which includes leaders in law enforcement, support services and street outreach. The Hub will collect and monitor data, organize technical assistance and training, provide communication, and facilitate alignment and information sharing among stakeholders. As part of the regional approach, the hub will operate out of East-West Gateway Coordinating Council of Governments.




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    May 23, 2023 - One-Day Crime Summit Meets

    EWG organized a one-day Crime Summit at the request of the mayor of St. Louis City, local business leaders, and other regional leaders to respond to the region’s high rate of homicides and gun violence, particularly in the city, parts of St. Louis County, and East St. Louis. Participants agree that a regional approach to reducing violent street crime is important for the health and future prosperity of the entire St. Louis region, and a critical issue to address if the region wants to grow and attract future investment and greater population growth.

    December 2023 - A Five-Day Practicum

    A five-day practicum is convened by EWG to develop a regional anti-violence strategy. The summit, led by criminologists and expert practitioners in the fields of crime reduction, is attended by leaders in government, law enforcement, business, health, and civic initiatives and included a deep dive on crime factors and data in the region; best practices in criminology and street violence reduction; dialogue; consensus building; and more. At the conclusion, the group agrees that the regional approach to reducing street violence should include a balance of coordinated, research-based tactics that includes focused deterrence, cognitive behavioral therapy and other supports, and street outreach.

    February 2024 - EWG Board of Directors Approves the SLN Plan

    EWG’s Board of Directors approves the Save Lives Now! plan, which includes the convening of a Save Lives Now! Advisory Council, and creation of an EWG anti-violence hub to coordinate the initiative across police and law enforcement jurisdictions, service providers, neighborhoods, governments, communities, and others.

    May 2024 - SLN Advisory Council Meeting

    May 2024
    First meeting of the Save Lives Now! Advisory Council. Information coming soon!

    Spring-Fall 2024 - The Initiative Builds

    The initiative builds capacity with plans to begin training in the fall of 2023, and to launch in the winter of 2023-24. Current work includes hiring staff, convening the Save Lives Now! Advisory Council, hiring technical assistance, building an implementation team, and obtaining funding.