ST. LOUIS – Crime trends, business vandalism, and shootings on the Fourth of July were just a few of the many topics the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said their command staff is currently addressing.

“We had a complete operations plan put together—it consists of a daytime detail and it consists of a nighttime detail,” Mitch McCoy, director of SLMPD’s Public Affairs and Information Division, said.

He also noted that police strategies in the city are constantly evolving based on crime trends, including the downtown mayhem from over the holiday weekend.

“That includes our anti-crime detectives; that includes mobile reserve officers, patrol officers both uniformed and also our plain-clothed officers,” McCoy said.

Another key topic discussed during the weekly crime briefing is recruitment. 

McCoy said since a new recruitment initiative kicked off in May, they’ve had 124 people apply.

“They’re entering a profession that many people don’t want to enter anymore. We have made an effort to try and attract as many people as we can to a profession that needs people to stand up, take the oath, and protect and serve,” he said.

Currently, the department has 873 commissioned officers, 26 trainees, and nine people graduating from the academy on Thursday.

“Just because they graduate from the academy tomorrow doesn’t mean they’re going to be out in a patrol car by themselves on Friday morning,” McCoy said.

Before the new officers are out on their own, they’ll spend at least 15 weeks with a field training officer.

“They have to adapt to the street; they have to get that hands-on street experience and then they’ll be assigned to a district after they complete their field training,” McCoy explained.

He added that the department is always accepting applications for the next academy class.