The police spoke of an increase in juvenile delinquency. The courts listened

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — New changes are underway after the North County Police Cooperative’s effort to transform the juvenile delinquency problem for the better.

“You are fantastic,” said Major Ron Martin. “I think if you look at the changes and you don’t think they’re fantastic, there’s something wrong with you.”

FOX 2 brought him the list of seven things St. Louis County juvenile courts have said improve public safety and the accountability of juvenile suspects.

“It’s an exciting process, and I think one that will definitely reduce a lot of these violent crime incidents involving children,” Martin said.

Changes include: the assignment of an Assistant Youth Officer as a liaison to a police department and the assignment of a Chief Warrant Legal Officer as a direct liaison to support officers.

“It’s a win-win situation for everyone. There’s no doubt these are great, great things that have come out, and they’ve come out just through this communication process,” said Martin.

The communication process he is referring to is an October meeting between stakeholders from northern St. Louis County and the juvenile courts. NCPC chief John Buchannan gave FOX 2 exclusive access to the meeting.

“We want to get that out. It’s not law enforcement, it’s a whole system of things that we need to change, so that’s what we’re doing,” Buchannan said.

Police officials regularly reported on juvenile courts reportedly refusing to jail young and potentially dangerous offenders.

“We take them to the juvenile section and then within an hour they’re out and in another stolen car,” Lt. Etheria Thompson, District Commander of Dellwood, at the meeting.

Several officials from that October meeting said they heard nothing but support from people who saw our FOX filings report on the issue.

“…And I think with you, to shed some light on the subject. It has brought about some positive changes for us. So thanks,” Martin said. “I’m excited to see what it will bring. And if it brings that reduction in our juvenile delinquency problem, I don’t think you can ask for anything else.”

Here is the full list of updates brought to FOX 2 by the St. Louis County Juvenile Courts:

For multiple meetings with multiple St. Louis County law enforcement agencies during the summer and fall:

We have met with the North County Cooperative and we are seeking additional partners with plans to use DJOs to liaise with the department in the future.

We have employed our Chief Warrant Legal Officer as a direct liaison to support North County Cooperative officials.

We, along with school resource officers, have been in contact with the Normandy School District to consider more partnerships for student diversion efforts.

We are committed to sharing data with each other’s agency to track trends and have strategy discussions based on data trends.

We have advised our LE partners for juveniles accused of first degree motor vehicle tampering that if they are presented with a legally satisfactory presentation, we expect those juveniles to be held in our detention facility pending further trial.

We have offered to conduct training and listening sessions with our LE agencies to improve communication.

We have offered to attend community events to hear from community residents on the impact of juvenile delinquency. The police spoke of an increase in juvenile delinquency. The courts listened

Sarah Y. Kim

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