St. Louis County Executive Announces Community Policing Grant for Castle Point
$1 Million Grant will focus on Community-Police Relations
St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger today announced the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program has awarded the County a $1 million grant that will be used in the Castle Point neighborhood in St. Louis County. The three-year grant will focus on innovative strategies promoting partnerships between police and the community. Grant initiatives include:
– Increased foot and bike patrols with an emphasis on Community Policing
– New Street Lights and Crosswalks
– Beautification of Abandoned Properties
– Renovation of Community Pride Park
– Monthly events hosted by the St. Louis County Police Department in conjunction with the Castle Point Neighborhood Association. Examples of events to be held in the community include a movie night, live music and a neighborhood cleanup day.
The Byrne Grant is based on a mixture of crime prevention strategies being implemented in an innovative way. One of those strategies is Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), which is a multi-disciplinary approach to deterring crime by combining environmental design and community participation.
“Through this grant our officers will build strong relationships in Castle Point while using innovative strategies to reduce crime,” St. Louis County Executive Stenger said. “Residents in Castle Point will know these officers on a first name basis. Their interaction will go beyond traditional law enforcement and will include recreational activities and other efforts aimed at building relationships and improving the quality of life for everyone.”
Environmental design includes physical improvements to a community for the purpose of increased public safety. Castle Point will have new crosswalks, improved lighting and street barriers strategically placed to reduce criminal activity.
“We are really taking an innovative approach to our policing with this grant,” St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said. “First and foremost we’ll have an increased presence in the community and I’m not just talking about patrols. We will be at neighborhood cleanups, basketball games, and the movie nights. We aim to build relationships through positive interaction. And the investment we are making in street lights, crosswalks, and the neighborhood park will improve the quality of life while promoting safety in Castle Point.”
Experiments in CPTED– based policing has greatly reduced crime in several cities including Bridgeport, Connecticut and Sarasota, Florida.