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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster wants state lawmakers to approve a special gun court in St. Louis after city judges rejected the move earlier this week.
Koster reiterated his call for a new "armed offender docket" at the start of an urban crime summit Wednesday at the downtown St. Louis University law school. The four-day summit began Monday in Kansas City.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, Police Chief Dotson and Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce also want the Legislature to step in. Slay, Dotson and Joyce are each participating in the summit as well.
The city's district court judges met Monday and instead adopted a compromise plan to expedite trial dates for those accused of violent crimes. Dotson called the move "window dressing" that won't adequately address gun violence.
A four-day urban crime summit convened by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster comes to St. Louis Wednesday.
It began in Kansas City on Monday. Scheduled participants in St. Louis include Mayor Francis Slay, Police Chief Sam Dotson and their St. Louis County counterparts.
Other presenters include New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and law enforcement consultant William Bratton, a former top police official in New York City, Boston and Los Angeles.
Hot spot policing, reducing gun violence and reintegrating former felons into society will be among the topics discussed at an Urban Crime Summit being held in St. Louis and Kansas City.
Police chiefs, mayors and prosecutors from both sides of the state will join with law enforcement experts this month at Attorney General Chris Koster's four-day summit - two days in KC and two in St. Louis.
Both of Missouri's largest cities consistently rank in the top 10 nationally for high levels of violent crime.
Koster said in a statement that violent crime is hurting Missouri families and the state's economy.
A triple shooting just blocks away from a neighborhood crime summit Monday night is reinforcing the message that residents and police have to work together to combat violence in the City of St. Louis.
Police Chief Sam Dotson was on his way to the summit hosted by Better Family Life when he was called to the 4500 block of Evans where two men and a woman were shot.
Chief Dotson says there were several people outside in the area when a lone gunman approached the porch of a home and opened fire, but some of the witnesses aren't cooperating. "So it makes it very hard when we come to a scene, when we have information that we're looking for, and even family members aren't cooperating," Dotson said.
Cooperation was the message at the crime summit attended by the Chief, Mayor Francis Slay and about 200 residents. Better Family Life founder Malik Ahmed was cheered when he told the crowd that regular citizens need to get involved in order to bring peace to the streets. "Our community cannot afford to have a negative relationship with the police," Ahmed said.