ALTON - As many as 45 separate charges - ranging from simple speeding tickets to felonies - were filed as a result of the Alton Police Department increasing patrols in the area around the Clark Bridge over the holiday weekend.
Alton Public Information Officer Emily Hejna said officers responded to 37 incidents, engaging with 44 people and resulting in 45 charges from Friday afternoon through the early hours of Sunday morning. Hejna would not comment on when the extra patrols were conducted, nor did she say how many additional officers were involved. She did say the additional patrols began around 3 p.m. Friday and were in response to recent crimes being conducted by suspects from St. Louis.
"We focused on the area around the bridge," she said Tuesday. "We had officers go up and down the Berm, around 67, and all over Broadway. We had that armed robbery in the 3400 block of Oak, and the vehicle theft nearby that same night. Those suspects were apprehended, and were found to be from St. Louis. Many of those suspects were juveniles, but they're from St. Louis, so our focus was the area around the bridge."
Hejna said the majority of the charges were relatively minor, but said some methamphetamine and heroin were removed from the streets from their efforts. One suspect was a 44-year-old white male from Gillespie who was found with an undisclosed amount of meth. A second suspect was a 30-year-old white female from Brighton who had both meth and heroin.
During the patrols, a canine officer was in the area, and that officer was utilized to pursue a suspect in East Alton wanted by the U.S. Marshal Service, who was wanted on a federal warrant.
When asked if such increased patrols in the areas around the routes out of Alton were going to be the norm in the future, Hejna said she did not have the answer at this time.
"[Alton Police Chief Jake Simmons] and [Alton Mayor Brant Walker] are both committed to the safety of our citizens," she said. "If it is determined future enforcement is required, then it will definitely occur in the future."
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Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at [email protected].