St Louis is, by far, the current USA murder capital among big cities. https://www.thetrace.org/2018/04/highest-murder-rates-us-cities-list/

A person who follows the news in large cities may eventually see a strange pattern. 

There seems, in some areas, to be a deliberate effort to slow down response times to shootings in certain areas of certain cities. It looks like something done with the intention of shifting responsibility for killings from ‘poor policing’ to the communities themselves. In other words the goal is for the ‘blame’ to fall on the local communities. You could argue either side, it may be a strategy that has some long term benefit, but policing managed by outsiders is not really policing, and the lessons learned are not often what the outsiders meant to teach. 

https://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/local/police-response-times-in-columbia-continue-to-increase/article_596a95fc-b6b5-11e6-83bb-6bd2591b5c77.html

What’s more worrying though is that, as with researching misconduct by police officers in general, there seems to be a well organized effort to ‘guide’ opinions, including an apparent tweaking of Google’s search algorithm specifically designed only to funnel publicity of certain types of news. 

This in addition to ‘news’ that seem to be designed to cleverly redirect.  https://fox2now.com/2017/04/10/st-louis-fire-chief-upset-about-comments-on-slow-response-to-troubled-neighborhoods/

The purpose of this misdirection can be guessed by looking at the locations of incidents like  https://www.cnn.com/2016/11/21/us/st-louis-police-shooting/index.html 

So the question arises, again and again, are police really worth that much more than other citizens?

Policing is not a dangerous job. It is less dangerous than being a garbage man or truck driver. Policing does pay very well though. Should they be given even more money, in exchange for doing their jobs properly? 

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Response time is a crucial metric in cities prone to violence, and one of the first things short term leaders use to give the appearance of solving a problem without the substance of actually solving it https://gazette.com/news/colorado-springs-police-getting-better-at-responding-to-emergencies-depending/article_28e0e3e8-8b5f-11e8-bcc3-2760939ab49a.html

In some cities gangsters and lone criminals involved in gunplay take their time, since they know, reliably, that any police who hear gunshots will quickly go in the opposite direction. https://www.kmov.com/raw-different-views-of-violent-shootout-at-east-st-louis/video_d9cb15d0-6e22-5ec7-a769-f5d7daea1617.html

 That shooting occurred today https://www.riverfronttimes.com/newsblog/2018/09/19/shocking-video-captures-insane-shootout-at-east-st-louis-gas-station and it would be interesting to watch on the video how long it took police to arrive, and what they did when they arrived.

Missouri Avenue is a major arterial in East St Louis, so a lot of cars would have heard to gunshots.

In fact the East St Louis police station is just off Missouri Avenue, and many police cars coming from or going to the police station would drive right past where that shooting was happening, but the shooters knew the police would not interfere.

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Here is a 'rolling gun battle'.

https://www.kmov.com/news/rolling-gun-battle-caught-on-camera-in-missouri-neighborhood/article_ba94ce86-526a-5d0a-aeda-3ce1d6c1b19f.html

You can check headlines almost any day and see incidents in a East St Louis that would not occur in cities that had active police departments.

https://www.kmov.com/news/crime/

The police have figured out that the less actual work they do, and the more poorly they do their jobs, the more there will be a need for their services. It's like a food relief agency going to a famine zone and not giving anybody any food. The more food they withhold the more there will be calls to give them more money to distribute food.

You can go to any industrialized melting pot city, state or country in the world, and where there is some authority that responds to crime, crimes are low. And where nobody responds to crime, crimes are high.

In the United States crime is low in wealthy areas because those areas are policed, not because nobody wants to rob the wealthy.

Police in the United States have forced the public to view them as 'the people who control crime', when in fact they are simply employees of the melting pot hired to do a specific job. It's kind of like if electricians refused to work unless they were given control of the electrical grid, and then used that control to extort more and more power for themselves.

The common urban strategy for police in the United States is to push crime to increase, then, once a tipping point is reached, solicit more authority to deal with that crime. The authority they solicit though is not actually anything that reduces crime, rather something that simply gives them power. It's very similar to the 'war on terror' being used to increase federal policing powers.