Citizens patrol Tower Grove neighborhood

ST. LOUIS - The shooting of the 11-year-old boy drove a group of neighbors to start a new effort in Tower Grove to keep their neighborhood safe.

The neighbors have rebooted a citizen patrol program, and Second District police officers are training them to look for the signs other people miss.

Inside the beauty of the neighborhood is a calling Jan McCall and Ivan Wine are answering. They don't have badges and they don't wear uniforms, but they're volunteering for a grassroots plan to make Tower Grove South a safer place to live.

McCall and Wine are training to patrol the streets they live on. McCall has lived through crime in the neighborhood before.

"We had a crack house two houses from us. They would run drugs down our front lawn," she said.

She knows she can help officers stop it.

The Tower Grove Community Development Corporation gets federal money to build a system that can keep these patrols going.

"People who feel good about their neighborhood and have pride in their neighborhood are going to build a better neighborhood," said Kristan Nickels.

"It's something you have to do if you want it to be beautiful," said McCall.

They see more beauty than crime in the place they love to live.

Fifteen others are part of McCall and Wine's group, which will finish training in two weeks. They'll patrol up to two hours every day.

There were patrols in Tower Grove South a few years ago, but they went away because neighbors didn't' have the money or resources.


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