Public Safety Director's Spotlight - DPS Update

Free outdoor movies, concerts, Better Together 5K, North of Old North Bike Tour, Health Fair, Tribute to Maya Angelou & more!

July 24, 2014 | 5 min reading time


DPS Update

The Department of Public Safety held its first DPS Monthly Update Meeting on Thursday, July 17.  The PowerPoint presentations are posted on the City website, but I wanted to mention a few of the highlights from the presentations for those who were not able to attend:

· DPS is the largest City department with 3,300 employees in eight divisions.

· A Police Department officer has been added to Excise (liquor control).

· Disaster preparedness (CERT) training is available through the City Emergency Management Agency.

· Forty-three inmates in the City's correctional facilities are enrolled in GED classes.  Corrections obtained a grant to help them continue the program after release.

· The City has issued $635.6 million in construction permits in FY14, with $261.3 million of those building permits issued in the Central West End, another $75.6 million Downtown and $14.7 million in Near North Riverfront.  According to the Home Builders Report, 4,678 units have been created over the past year.

· Thirty years ago, lead poisoning rate for kids in St. Louis under five was 22%.  It's now at 3% due to our proactive Lead Abatement Program.

· The St. Louis Fire Department made a total of more than 77,000 calls for service in 2013.  EMS ran over 78,000 calls in 2013.

· The number of events in the City of St. Louis has tripled since 2009.  The City issued permits for about 40 special events in 2009.  In 2013, above 120.

·  The City has experienced the fewest reported robberies, aggravated assaults (shootings), burglaries, larcenies and vehicle thefts since 1970.

·  Total crime in the City of St. Louis is down 52.3% between 2006 and 2014.

To see the presentations, visit

Upcoming Events

July 25 – Outdoor Film Series, St. Louis Art Museum, 7 p.m.

Spend your Fridays on Art Hill in Forest Park at the St. Louis Art Museum Outdoor Film Series.  Music and festivities will begin at 7 p.m. and the movie will start at 9 p.m. For a list of the films that will be shown and for more details, visit the web site.

July 26 – Community Resource Health Fair, 5701 Delmar Parking Lot, 10 a.m.

The People's Community Action Corporation will hold a Community Resource Health Fair this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Parking Lot at 5701 Delmar.  Visitors will be able to receive health and dental screenings and more and enjoy live music by local St. Louis band "Dirty Muggs."  For more details, visit the web site.

July 26 – North of Old North Bicycle Tour, depart from 2700 N. 14th Street, 9:30 p.m.

Explore the neighborhoods north of Crown Candy, including Hyde Park, College Hill, Holly Place and O'Fallon Park, this Saturday on the North of Old North Bicycle Tour.  The tour will visit St. Louis landmarks including historic water towers, architecturally significant churches, the "Gold Coast" of the northside, the oldest house in the City, and former locations of a renowned brewery.  The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children 10 and under.  Registration will take place from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, 2700 N. 14th Street.  The group ride will depart at 9:30 a.m.  For more details, visit the web site.

July 26 – 2014 Better Together STL 5k and Fun Run, Upper Parking Lot of The Muny in Forest Park, 8 a.m.

The inaugural Better Together 5k/1 mile Fun Run/Walk will take place this Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. at the Upper Parking Lot of the Muny in Forest Park. The event is open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities.  Late registration will take place this Friday from Noon to 6 p.m. at Big River – University City.  To learn more, call (314) 727-4786 or visit the web site.

July 26 & 27 – Metropolitan St. Louis African Violet Council Show and Sale, Missouri Botanical Garden, 9 a.m.

The Metropolitan St. Louis African Violet Council will present its 59th annual Show and Sale this Saturday and Sunday at the Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Avenue, in the Beaumont Room. This year's theme is "Violets Party at the Beach."  New varieties and old favorites will be shown by the area's top growers, who will be on hand to give plant care advice and share information about the Council.  Price of the Show will be included with Garden admission ($3-$8).  For more information, call (314) 577-5100.

July 26 – The Urban Arts Show, Vaughn Cultural Center, 1 p.m.

Everyone is invited to enjoy a free tribute to the late, great Maya Angelou by the awesome spoken word artists Lightning, Sistah Taraji, Konsistent and SixteenBars as well as live music by Justin Hoskins and the Movie and much more.  The Urban Arts Show will begin at 1 p.m. at the Vaughn Cultural Center inside the Urban League, 3701 Grandel Square in Grand Center.  Admission is free but seating is limited.  Questions?  Call (314) 606-1567 for information.

July 26 – Free Movie, Lafayette Park (in the SE corner), 7 p.m.

Invite your family and friends to join you in Lafayette Park this Saturday for a free screening of "Ghostbusters."  Fun activities will begin at 7 p.m. and the movie will start at 8:30 p.m.  For more information, go to the web site.

Free Concerts

Invite your family, friends and neighbors to join you at one of the many neighborhood concert series this summer.

July 27 -- Sunday Serenades in Francis Park, Donovan & Eichelberger, 7:30 p.m.  Visit for the full schedule.

July 27 -- Free Concert in Carondelet Park, Loughborough and Eugene, 6 p.m.  To learn more, visit

July 28 -- Musical Mondays in Tower Grove Park, S. Grand & Magnolia, 7:30 p.m.  Visit for more information.

July 28 -- Free Concert in BellerivePark, S. Broadway and Bellerive, 7 p.m.Visit for more details.

July 29 - Free Concert in Fanetti Park, Michigan and Schirmer, 7 p.m.  Visit for more information.

July 30 –Free Concert Series in O'Fallon Park, 4343 West Florissant, 6 p.m.  The Sixth Annual O'Fallon Park Jazz Concert Series will kick off on Wednesday, July 30 at 6 p.m. in O'Fallon Park.

August 1 -- Trivia Night, Tower Grove | The Journey Church, 6 p.m.

The Gateway Center for Performing Arts (GCPA) will be hosting a Trivia Night at Tower Grove | The Journey Church to raise funds for an upcoming partnership with the Miriam School at 4926 Reber Place.  Doors will open at 6 p.m. and trivia will begin at 7 p.m. There will be eight rounds of trivia as well as other games and contests. Cost is $25 per person or $160 for a table of eight.  The Journey Church is located at 4900 Reber Place in the Southwest Garden neighborhood.  To reserve your table, call (314) 635-8608.

Save the Date

August 1-3 & August 8-10 – Second Annual St. Louis International Children's Film Festival, Cinema St. Louis, 7 p.m.

August 1 – First Fridays in Grand Center, 5 p.m.

August 2 & 3 – Serbian Festival, Holy Trinity Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church, 11 a.m.

August 2 – Friends of Clifton Park Movie Night, 7 p.m.

August 3 – The Wedding Show, America's Center, 11 a.m.

August 3 – Free Concert in Benton Park, Jefferson & Arsenal, 3 p.m.

August 3 – Step Inside Historic St. Louis, Missouri History Museum, 1 p.m.

August 5 – 31st Annual National Night Out Against Crime & Drugs, various locations, 5 p.m.

Promoting Your Neighborhood Activities

Is there a neighborhood event on the schedule that you would like noted in the Spotlight?  If so, you may email the information about it to me at or to Cathy Smentkowski at for consideration.  You may also post it on the City's Calendar of Events on the City's web site:  The link to submit an event is at the very bottom of the home page.  The listing is free.  I encourage you to take advantage of this free way to promote your event.

SLMPD Citizens Academy

The Citizens Academy is now accepting applications!  The SLMPD Citizens Academy offers an insider's view into the day-to-day job of a St. Louis Police Officer.  In addition to classroom instruction, participants also visit with police canines, interact with the department's bomb and arson robot, tour the 911 center and even use driving and shooting simulators.  Don't miss out on this great opportunity!  Applications may be found on the web site and will be accepted until Aug. 25, 2014.  Class starts on Sept. 3.

Col. Richard Gray

Director of Public Safety

City of St. Louis

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