4/24/2014 TGS Safety Meeting Court Advocacy and Neighborhood Impact Statement Training

4/24/2014 TGS Safety MeetingCourt Advocacy and Neighborhood Impact Statement Training Last night, 30 residents of the Tower Grove South neighborhood attend the monthly Neighborhood Safety Meeting hosted by Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC. Neighborhood Liaison Officer Ed Slade spoke with the residents about the recent increase in crime in the TGS and the efforts of SLMPD to combat crime by utilizing a HotSpot policing effort.

Member from the St Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office were also present and provided training to the residents on two volunteer programs aimed at helping reduce crime in Tower Grove South

The first training session was on becoming a Neighborhood Court Advocate. This session discussed the importance of neighborhood involvement in criminal court cases that affect Tower Grove South. Crimes that happen in the neighborhood are not only psychologically devastating to the victim and neighbors but have a long lasting impact on the way residents feel about their neighborhood. High crime statistics can cause an increase in homeowners, renters and car insurance. It can also be felt as good neighbors and businesses move away from the area and new commerce moves elsewhere. Trained Court Advocates will appear at sentencing hearing for crimes that impact the neighborhood as the face of the neighborhood. This allows the judge and the defendants to see that crime not only affects the victim but the residents of the area as well. The second training focused on writing Neighborhood Impact Statements. Impact Statement are created by the residents of a neighborhood that has been victimized by a crime and describe what aftershock the crime has left on the residents of the area. These statements are signed by members of the area and are delivered, through the Circuit Attorney’s Office, to the judge proceeding over the case in criminal court. Much like a Court Advocate, Neighborhood Impact Statements remind the court that no crime is victim-less and of the affect it has had on the residents.

The Court Advocacy Program and the Neighborhood Impact Statement program are partnerships between the St Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office, the St Louis Police Department and the Tower Grove South Neighborhood. TGNCDC is privileged to be part of these programs. In addition to the Court Advocacy Program and the Neighborhood Impact Statement program, Tower Grove CDC is working on block captain, victim support, and citizens on patrol training and other volunteer opportunities related to the NOM. Please contact Kristan Nickels at kristan@towergrovecdc.org to volunteer and/or learn more about opportunities to help.