- Associated Press - Thursday, April 9, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The St. Louis police chief has announced the department will launch a new unit aimed at boosting community engagement.

He says the unit - which will include one lieutenant, two sergeants and three officers - will study how departments around the nation interact with their residents.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1H6HX1d ) says the Wednesday announcement comes as the police chief is lobbying city leaders to hire more than 100 more police officers to handle an increase in crime. He says the unit is necessary despite the current manpower crunch.

The police chief says the department may host gun safety programs, a youth academy, a summer camp for children or “coffee with a cop.” He also wants the unit to find the best ways to provide training on ethics and de-escalation tactics.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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