9/12/2005St. Louis Police Go After Jaywalkers
St. Louis, Missouri police are paid overtime to conduct an undercover sting to ticket jaywalkers.
Last Friday, the city of St. Louis, Missouri began a crackdown on jaywalking that will last through June 2006. Using a $70,000 state grant to pay overtime, the program deploys undercover officers to pose as pedestrians and use a radio to identify anyone attempting an unauthorized street crossing. Uniformed police then arrive to issue a $100 ticket. In just an hour spent near the Old Courthouse, five officers generated $1600 in revenue from tickets issued both to pedestrians and to drivers who failed to yield.
Ending jaywalking is a priority for St. Louis, which consistently ranks in the top ten most dangerous cities in America. In 2004, St. Louis experienced 45,183 violent and serious property crimes ranging from auto theft and burglary to arson and murder. The city has a violent crime rate twenty-five times higher than Irvine, California.