Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Being Prepared

Learn to protect yourself in emergency situations; plenty of fun and exciting events this weekend.

April 28, 2011 | 4 min reading time

Charles Bryson, Director of Public SafetyThe events on tap for this coming weekend are fun, entertaining and exciting, perfect for the entire family to enjoy.  Before I highlight several of them, though, I want to comment on some recent happenings in St. Louis.  First, on behalf of the City Department of Public Safety, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of St. Louis Police Officer Daryl Hall, who was shot to death early Sunday while trying to break up a gunfight outside a downtown nightclub.  Since the club holds a liquor license, the Department of Public Safety will be conducting a review.  

Next, kudos to Mayor Francis G. Slay, Lambert Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, her staff and everyone who has worked so hard to get flights operating in and out of Lambert so quickly after the devastation of last Friday night’s tornado.

On Thursday of this week U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan were in St. Louis as part of the Great Central U.S. Shakeout earthquake drill.  More than three million people in 11 states took a moment to either practice DROPping to the ground, taking COVER, and HOLDing ON or to discuss what to do should an earthquake strike.  As in most cases, to act quickly and wisely in an emergency situation you must practice often.  You may have only seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake before strong shaking knocks you down, or something falls on you.  If you were unable to participate in the event this week, take a moment now to think about what you should do in the event of an earthquake.  Inspect your home for items that might fall and cause injury and secure them.

Finally, this week Mayor Slay joined other officials in formally opening our region’s first bicycle commuter station at 1011 Locust Street in Downtown St. Louis.  Bicyclists now have a place to park their bikes, to shower, and to have a locker.  Memberships are $20 a month or $150 a year.  For details, visit

Listed below are several of the events that will be held in St. Louis in the next few days.  I encourage you to stop by and take advantage of all that our great City neighborhoods have to offer.  Also, if you haven’t visited the City’s new website ( I encourage you to do so.  On its home page you will find a link to the Calendar of Events.  Please feel free to submit an event and to see what activities are coming up.  See you in the neighborhood!

Stand Against Racism Rally

The YWCA will be holding a “Stand Against Racism” Rally on Friday, April 29 from Noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Clock Tower on the Campus of Saint Louis University.  For more information, call (314) 531-1115.

Annie Malone BBQ

Have lunch and help children in crisis at the Annie Malone Kickoff BBQ Benefit on Friday, April 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Kiener Plaza, Broadway & Market in Downtown St. Louis.  Also, mark your calendar now for the Annual Annie Malone Parade on Sunday, May 15.  I’ll have more details about it in an upcoming Spotlight.

Downtown Home Tour

Have you ever thought about living Downtown?  If not, you should consider taking the Downtown Home Tour this Saturday, April 30.  The tour will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and feature 10 unique homes. For ticket information, visit

Spring Park Clean Up

Neighbors in the Lindenwood Park neighborhood will be gathering together at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 30 in Lindenwood Park for the Annual Spring Park Clean Up.  Help keep the park beautiful.

Variety Parade

Variety, the Children’s Charity of St. Louis will hold its Annual Variety Parade on Saturday, April 30.  The opening ceremony will begin at 9:45 a.m. at 18th and Chestnut in Downtown St. Louis.  The parade will go east on Chestnut to Tucker Blvd., south on Tucker Blvd. to Market Street, west on Market Street to 18th Street.  After Party – complete with games and pony rides - immediately following in Aloe Plaza across from Union Station.  For more information, visit the Variety website at

Twilight Tuesdays Concert Series

The Missouri History Museum’s Twilight Tuesdays Concert Series is back!  On Tuesday, May 3 Herman Semidey Jr. and His Nitro Latin Band will perform.  Come early and learn basic salsa dance moves for free (5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in MacDermott Grand Hall), then dance the night away to live Latin music.  For a complete list of the season’s line-up, visit


The Department of Public Safety’s City Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) provides free emergency alert service through Nixle (  When you register for the service, you will receive our informative and timely text messages on your cell phone and/or as e-mails on your computer.  Visit the Nixle website and sign up for the free service today.  If you have any comments about the service, please let me know.

Will you be having an event in your neighborhood that we can support?  If so, you may email the information about it to me at  or to Cathy Smentkowski at for consideration of noting it in the Spotlight or you may post it on the City’s Calendar of Events.

And remember, if you see something in the neighborhood that just doesn’t look right, REPORT IT!

Charles Bryson
Director of Public Safety
City of St. Louis

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