Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Neighborhood Ownership Model

RV Show, Mardi Gras events in Soulard, Poet Laureate Coronation Ceremony, Big Game Bash and more to enjoy!

January 30, 2015 | 5 min reading time
Neighborhood houses


Neighborhood Ownership Model

Several stories have been in the news recently about neighbors working together to fight crime using the Neighborhood Ownership Model.  If your neighborhood association has not discussed engaging in this program, I encourage you to do so.  Studies have shown the best way to fight crime is through an involved community.  Neighborhoods that actively take ownership of their safety by calling the police, showing up for court and fighting for justice have lower criminal activity and a better quality of life.  Every neighborhood has different needs and challenges.  Possible solutions can be citizen-based, government-based or technology-based.  By partnering with local police and support agencies, you can determine which solutions work best for you and your neighborhood.  For information about the program, contact the Circuit Attorney's Office at (314) 622-4941.

Upcoming Events

Jan. 29 – Feb. 1 – St. Louis RV Vacation & Travel Show, America's Center, 10 a.m.

If you enjoy the great outdoors and traveling the highways and byways of our great nation, then consider stopping by the St. Louis RV Vacation & Travel Show this Thursday through Sunday at America's Center in beautiful Downtown St. Louis.  This consumer show will feature recreational vehicles including Motorhomes, travel trailers, sport utility trailers, van campers, folding camping trailers and truck campers on display and for sale.  For more information, visit the web site.

Jan. 30 – Food Policy "Brown Bag" Lunch, Gateway Greening Office, Noon

Gateway Greening invites you to come and learn the impacts of our food choices and how you can be a part of the local food system movement in St. Louis.  Melissa Vatterott, Food and Farm Coordinator at Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) will be the speakers at this Friday's Food Policy "Brown Bag" Lunch from Noon to 1 p.m.  Vatterott will present the findings o fMCE's Saint Louis Regional Food Study.  RSVP to Hannah at (314) 588-9600 ext. 104.  Metered parking is available in front of the Gateway Greening office at 2211 Washington Avenue in the Downtown West neighborhood, and there is a public parking lot just east of the building.

Jan. 30 – Mardi Gras STL – Wine, Beer &Whiskey Taste, Soulard Market Park, 7 p.m.

Spend this Friday evening sampling beverages from around the world and chatting with industry experts at the Wine, Beer and Whiskey Taste in Soulard Market Park, 9th and Lafayette.  From 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., guests will be able to enjoy complimentary samples of award-winning barbecue from Pappy's, Bogart's, Salt + Smoke, and Sugarfire.  For ticket information, visit the web site.

Jan. 31 – Mardi Gras STL – Cajun Cook-Off, Soulard Market Park, Noon

Ten of the region's best known chefs will team with ten amateurs this Saturday in Soulard Market Park, 9th and Lafayette, to compete for the title of 2015 Cajun Cook-Off Champion.  You're invited to watch them prepare their dishes, then face the judges.  Audience members will be able to enjoy an open bar of Bud Light, Southern Comfort Hurricanes, and soft drinks and grab a bite to eat at a complimentary lunch.  For all the details, visit the web site.

Jan. 31 – Arch Rival Roller Girls Annual Trivia Night, The German Cultural Society, 6 p.m.

Calling all trivia buffs! The Arch Rival Roller Girls Annual Trivia Night will be this Saturday at The German Cultural Society, 3652 South Jefferson in the Marine Villa neighborhood.  Doors will open at 6 p.m. and trivia will begin at 7 p.m.  Price is $200 per table of 10, which includes beer, wine, and soda – no outside alcohol allowed.  Walk-ins/singles welcomed day of event ($20 per person).  For more information, email

Jan. 31 – Coronation Ceremony for Poet Laureate, Regional Arts Commission, 3 p.m.

The official Coronation Ceremony honoring Michael Castro as the inaugural Poet Laureate of the St. Louis region will take place this Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar Boulevard in the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood. Invite your family and friends to join you for this historic moment.

Feb. 1 – St. Louis' Big Game Bash, Ballpark Village, 2 p.m.

Calling all football fans!  Catch Super Bowl XLIX at the biggest party in St. Louis and watch it on a 40 ft. TV.  Grab your friends for a super Sunday and Big Game Bash at FOX Sports Midwest Live! @ Ballpark Village, 601 Clark Street in exciting Downtown St. Louis.  This ultimate game experience will include cheerleaders, contests, live music and giveaways.  All-inclusive group packages are available.  General admission will be $10.  For all the particulars, go to call (314) 345-9481.

Feb. 4 – Free Income Tax Preparation Workshop, William J. Harrison Education Center, 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The Office of Comptroller Darlene Green is co-sponsoring a Free Income Tax Preparation Workshop on Wednesday, February 4, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the William J. Harrison Education Center, 3140 Cass Avenue in the JeffVanderLou neighborhood.  Volunteers with the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) will be there to prepare 2014 income tax returns for St. Louis residents.  They will also electronically file 2014 tax returns (federal and state) at no cost.  If prior year returns have not been filed (2012 &2013), they can electronically file those as well.  The program is open to all residents in the St. Louis area with incomes up to $58,000 annually.  Questions?  Call (314) 613-7360.

Save the Date

Feb. 6 – 42 Comes to Life!, New City School, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Feb. 7 -- Mardi Gras – 5K Run For Your Beads, Soulard Market Park, 9 a.m. to Noon

Feb. 7 & 8 –Mardi Gras – Taste of Soulard, at participating establishments throughout Soulard, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Feb. 8 – Todd Wilson Organ Recital, Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Feb. 8 – Mardi Gras – Beggin'® Pet Parade, 12th & Geyer, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Feb. 8 – Mardi Gras – Wiener Dog Derby, Soulard Market Park, 2 p.m.

Feb. 9 – St. Louis Civil Rights Stories, Carpenter Branch Library, 7 to 8:30 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.

Valentine's Day Safety Tips

According to Help Net Security, Valentine's Day is one of the largest days of the year for online retailers and for online cybercriminals who try to take advantage of the increased activity to cause as much damage as possible through their various tricks of the trade.  Whether you decide to give flowers, chocolates or something a little more unusual as the perfect symbol of your action this Valentine's Day, make sure you take extra precautions when ordering online.

Invitations to download apps "designed" for Valentine's Day can be a trap, particularly if you accept them from free marketplaces.  Spam and e-greeting cards also continue to be popular in the lead up to Valentine's Day simply because they are effective at tricking people into clicking on and opening malicious links.  Enticements such as "order online today for fast delivery using this special discount code" could solve your problem, as long as the fast delivery they're promising is for flowers and not for malware.  Consider the following:

1.  Whether using a home computer or mobile device, before entering credit card information to order your flowers, ensure you either recognize the URL or that it begins with HTTPS to confirm that the site is secure.

2.  When you've finished buying your sweetheart a sweet treat, consider cleaning the cookies on your computer so you don't leave a footprint for the crooks.

3.  Always log out and make sure you're using a good strong password or passphrase so someone else can't access your account pages.

4.  Don't break someone's heart or bank account by unintentionally sharing a malicious link with friends.

Col. Richard Gray

Director of Public Safety

City of St. Louis

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