Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Feb. 2, 2011

Weathering the Latest Winter Storm, Neighborhood Events

February 2, 2011 | 4 min reading time

I hope that all of you have weathered St. Louis’ most recent storm this week without a lot of difficulties. I want to thank all of you who heeded the warnings and stayed off the road unless it was absolutely necessary. That made a huge difference in helping street and emergency crews do their jobs.

And certainly a special thanks to the City employees who braved the elements to deliver key services to the residents and businesses of the city. Each of you did a great job under very difficult circumstances, and I appreciate it.


The St. Louis Emergency team was prepared for the worst, and all things considered, we got the best. All hands were on deck – Mayor Francis G. Slay’s and County Executive Charlie Dooley’s offices, CEMA Commissioner Gary Christmann, Streets Director Todd Waeltermann, Chief Dan Isom and Chief Dennis Jenkerson, the Departments of Human Services and Health, Citizens’ Service Bureau, the United Way, Metro, the American Red Cross, MoDOT, Illinois officials and Gov. Jay Nixon’s deployment of the Missouri National Guard.


We were bracing for freezing rain to bring down power lines, we got sleet instead. Todd Waeltermann and his Streets crews expected a tough job of treating/removing the ice, but the sleet scraped away to the point of revealing lane lines on pavement. His crews were then ready for the snow. We were bracing for up to 20 inches of snow in the City. But the storm shifted, and the City only saw a much more manageable amount.


Bill Siedhoff and his Human Services team made sure extra beds were available for people who would need shelter from the storm. And if we had lost power and an entire nursing home had needed to be evacuated, Bill was ready.


Special thanks to all the Department of Public Safety employees for their efforts to ensure the safety of St. Louisans during the inclement weather.


By all of us working together and preparing for this weather event, we made it through with the least amount of problems.


There are a number of events planned for the weekend, and I’ll highlight a few below, but I would check with the venue before you go to make sure the snowfall hasn’t altered the schedule for the event.


National Wear Red Day


Friday, Feb. 4 is National Wear Red Day. The American Heart Association uses the day to increase awareness of the fact that heart disease is the #1 killer of women. If you want to learn more about the effort, visit


Snowman Softball Tournament


The Police Athletic League has the Snowman Softball Tournament scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 5 from 8 a.m. to dusk in Forest Park at the Central Ballfields. Snow or shine! For details, visit


Dishing in the Garden


Bowood Farms at 4605 Olive in the Central West End neighborhood is offering a Dishing in the Garden lecture at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5. Participants will learn how to create an indoor miniature landscape in a dish. Questions? Visit


ALIVE’s Buzz List Launch Party


For the over 21 crowd, ALIVE Magazine will be holding its annual Buzz List Launch Party on Saturday, Feb. 5 at Lola, 500 N. 14th Street in Downtown St. Louis. Celebrate St. Louis’ most influential people of the year. Cost is $15. For more information and tickets, visit / ( ).


Family Sunday


In honor of Black History Month, the St. Louis Art Museum in beautiful Forest Park will focus its weekly Family Sunday event every Sunday in February on African American Artists. From 1 – 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 6, 13, 20, and 27 you may take a tour of the galleries, then try your hand at creating a work of art. For more information, visit


While you are in Forest Park, you may want to stop by Steinberg Rink and lace up a pair of skates for a spin on the ice.


Finally, for all the football fans in St. Louis, whether you’re rooting for the Packers or the Steelers, Super Bowl Sunday is a great opportunity to get together with family or neighbors, have fun and enjoy watching what should be a good game.




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


Having an event in your neighborhood that we can support? Either e-mail the information about it to me at or to Cathy Smentkowski at


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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