St. Louis County Crime Commission continues to take shape

County Prosecutor Wesley Bell cautioned the commission to realize their limitations.

Maria Keena
October 18, 2019 - 8:21 am
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — After a 40-year hiatus, the St. Louis County Crime Commission held its second meeting on Thursday.
 
County Executive Same Page reactivated it following a rash of violent crime.  While this commission is in its infancy phase, it is clear that County Police Chief Jon Belmar is on board with the idea.  
 
"The Police Department is viewed as the beginning of the end" according to Belmar. "It doesn't stop there. The Prosecuting Attorney's office is involved and of course our judges in the criminal justice system. This (commission) allows us to come together."

Related: New St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell Urging Patience
 
County Prosecutor Wesley Bell cautioned the commission to realize their limitations.

"We have to recognize (the solution) involves educational opportunities, job opportunities, (and) job training."  
 
He adds some of those are out of the purview of this commission and that bringing in agencies that have the capacity to deal with this wide range of issues will reap good benefits.
 
At this point, Director of Policy for the County Executive and former Missouri State Rep. Cora Faith chimed in.

"We also need to consider that for MANY people the police department (and) the jails are where people end up when they have unmet mental health needs."
 
County resident and Executive Director of Step Up St. Louis, Erin Kelly, is on the commission. "It's a really great partnership," she says.
 
She said she agrees they need to figure out some way to meet every neighborhood's differences in St. Louis County in order to come together.
 
The Commission is comprised of the following people:

  • Executive Sam Page
  • Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell
  • Police Chief Jon Belmar
  • Presiding Judge Gloria Clark Reno
  • County Council Presiding Officer Ernie Trakas
  • Acting Justice Services Director Lt. Col. Troy Doyle
  • Jennings Mayor Yolanda Austin
  • Resident Erin Kelley, Executive Director, Step Up St. Louis, of South St. Louis County
  • Resident Greg Twardowski, retired, formerly with Whelan Security, of Frontenac

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