Breaking News
More () »

Business group recognizes 22 SLMPD officers who responded to CVPA school shooting

The association took a moment to say thank you to the police officers who worked to get victims out and to secure the scene.

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis group paused to give a moment of honor and recognition to nearly two dozen St. Louis police officers Wednesday. It's been nearly seven months since a gunman opened fire inside the Central VPA High School. The business community is praising police for their quick action.

When there's an active shooter situation, there's no time to wait. Officers spring into action because it's their job. A local group is saying people don't thank them enough.

Over at Columbia Auto Repair in The Hill, the owner has a great relationship with St. Louis police.

"Anytime we call the police, they're always here,” Joe Barbaglia said.

In fact, he heads the 2nd District Police Business Association, bringing all kinds of businesses together to back the men and women in blue.

"Restaurants, convenience stores, hardware stores, car dealerships,” he explained. They have one goal. "To do something for them for what they've done for us."

His group is taking a painful look back at the deadly school shooting at Central VPA High School last October.

"The police response time was so fast,” Barbaglia points out.

He recalls a police captain just beginning his shift. "He was not even in uniform yet, just came in to go to work, had his t-shirt on, went down there [and was] first one on the scene."

Wednesday, the association took a moment to recognize the 22 police officers who responded to the school, getting victims out and securing the scene.
They were honored at an awards luncheon.

"I have never experienced the fear and terror that I saw in all these children and these teachers' eyes in my life. I'm an old man. I've seen a lot of things,” said Alderman Joe Vollmer.

He attended the luncheon and nearly choked up. 

"When you go to work in the morning, you say ‘Goodbye honey. I love you’ to your kids but you’re not wearing a bullet-proof vest. You’re not carrying a gun on your side. You’re going to an office. These people are going above and beyond just for us,” Vollmer said.

It’s why the group says it can’t say ‘thank you’ enough.

"They went in, got the shooter, and took care of whatever needed to be done…These officers do stuff day in and day and nobody ever recognizes them at all,” Barbaglia added.

“We are proud of the officers being honored, as well as each and every officer who serves our community every day,” the SLMPD posted on Facebook Wednesday.

The 2nd District Police Business Association meets once a month, strengthening relationships with police.

Before You Leave, Check This Out