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Attorney General’s Office goes full steam ahead on Safer Streets Initiative

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A new class of special assistant U.S. attorneys (SAUSAs) was sworn in Thursday as part of Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s Safer Streets Initiative.

Three assistant attorneys general were sworn in to assist with violent crime cases in federal court. Schmitt said combating violent crime had been one of his biggest priorities since assuming office in 2019.  

“The Safer Streets Initiative was one of the first initiatives that my office launched and has been extremely successful in prosecuting some of Missouri’s most violent offenders,” Schmitt said. “The numbers speak for themselves – the Safer Streets Initiative has resulted in 614 total charges filed against 337 defendants for serious violent crimes. The new class of SAUSAs will continue this important work of fighting violent crime in St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield.”

The group adds one attorney to the Western District and two to the Eastern District in St. Louis, which has consisted of five attorneys since last year. More than 150 charges have been filed in the Western District, and 460 charges filed in the Eastern District thus far.

The new class replaces the prosecutors removed from cases earlier this year as part of a planned reshuffling within the initiative. 

The Safer Streets Initiative was launched in 2019 — shortly after Schmitt’s appointment amid an executive shakeup — as a way for Schmitt’s office to prosecute the state’s most violent criminals in federal court. The partnership between the Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri was the first of its kind, according to Schmitt. 

By its two-year mark, the initiative reported more than 500 convictions in carjacking, felony possession of a firearm, witness tampering, and other violent crimes. 

A secretary and two attorneys were initially sworn in under the program after its launch in August 2019.