It has been almost two years since I took office as mayor, and thanks to regional collaboration efforts, community support, our elected officials, and city staff, we are making Lake Saint Louis safer every day. We’ve seen a 47% reduction in vehicle break-ins and thefts of unlocked vehicles, a 32% reduction in property crimes, and a 28% reduction in the total number of criminal charges issued. We are making great strides in reducing crime through our investment in public safety.
Regional collaboration in the St. Charles County Criminal Interdiction Task Force has been extremely successful in these efforts. In 2022, the task force recovered 16 stolen vehicles, seized 50 weapons, and made over 400 arrests, including 220 felony arrests.
Through the passage of Proposition Police by voters in April 2021, we have been able to hire additional patrol officers and police dispatchers due to the revenue collected from the City’s local use tax. Further investments in technology have been advantageous in our push to reduce crime. Last year, we installed FLOCK cameras throughout the city, which has led to the apprehension of multiple suspects, including a member of the “Felony Lane Gang.”
The Board of Aldermen and I are also committed to fiscal responsibility and making sure tax dollars are spent in an efficient manner. Lake Saint Louis is one of the few cities in the area that does not have a personal property tax. Last year, we repaid our bond debt ahead of schedule, which reduced our 2022 property tax rate by 46%.
I am happy to see our community benefit from the recent spur in economic growth. Commercial development continues to expand along the Hwy N corridor. In addition to opening a new Dierbergs in 2021, and more recently Freddy’s, our residents have much to look forward to with several new restaurants and retailers planned to open in that area over the next year.
I will continue to engage Lake Saint Louis residents, city staff, and regional stakeholders at every level on the issue of public safety. My focus on reducing crime as a top priority will persist in 2023, as I believe that safe streets lead to safe schools, which leads to population growth that in turn spurs business and economic growth. The four pillars of a thriving City built on the foundation of safety.