North St. Louis County community will get $1M boost to fight crime | St. Louis Public Radio

North St. Louis County community will get $1M boost to fight crime

Oct 10, 2017

St. Louis County has received $1 million from the U.S. Department of Justice to get the Castle Point community in north county more involved in fighting crime.

Parts of unincorporated north St. Louis County have struggled for years with high crime rates. St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said the grant would help reverse that trend.

“The federal program takes a unique and proven approach to crime prevention by promoting partnerships between police and the community, and revitalizing neighborhoods through innovative, environmental design work,” said Stenger as the Democratic official announced the three-year grant on Tuesday. “That’s exactly what we’re looking for.”

The additional funds can help pay for more police patrols, St. Louis County police Chief Jon Belmar said. But the money can also be spent on things like sidewalks, street lights, and community movie nights.

“I really do feel like when we pay attention to the little things, and the community shares that responsibility with us on what the neighborhood looks like, and what are the expectations of everybody involved in this, then I feel like we get to the point where over time, we’re going to see crime reductions out of that,” Belmar said.

Both Belmar and Stenger praised the work from Castle Point residents like Tomrita Clark.

The grant "will make me feel proud of my community,” Clark said. “It would make me feel like the community is getting its voices heard. It would make me proud to see different things taking place and different structures coming along in the community. And just to see people investing in the community is a big plus.”

Castle Point is a north St. Louis County community of nearly 4,000 people. It is east of Dellwood and north of Moline Acres.

St. Louis County has already committed money to the area. It recently rehabbed an old house to serve as a community center, and helped develop a community garden in the yard.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann