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St. Louis saw an 18 percent increase in homicides in 2015, but city leaders the number of murders and other serious crimes dropped in the second half of the year

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ST. LOUIS — St. Louis saw an 18 percent increase in homicides in 2015, but city leaders say the number of murders and other serious crimes dropped in the year's second half.

Details of yearly crime statistics were released Monday. All categories of crime rose 2.2 percent for the year, but as of July, crime was on pace for a 14.5 percent spike.

Homicides jumped to 188 from 159 in 2014, but the pace declined later in the year, with 12 killings in November and eight in December.

Police Chief Sam Dotson believes the "Ferguson effect" wore off as the year progressed. Dotson believes the combination of emboldened criminals and overworked officers made crime worse in the months after the unrest that followed the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

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