St. Louis, MO (STL.News) – Monday, the St. Louis Crime Commission – joined by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Jeff Jensen, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Chief John Hayden, and St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar – announced in a press conference an investment of $200,000 to Better Family Life to help deter violent crime and aid families of victims of violent crime in the St. Louis region. Better Family Life, represented by James Clark, accepted the donation from the Crime Commission’s President Ed Dowd.
As part of their continuing dedication to fighting violent crime, along with partners in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office, and local law enforcement, the St. Louis Regional Crime Commission is investing in Better Family Life’s deterrence and community outreach programs. Their goal is to supplement and scale up Better Family Life’s programs as quickly as possible, as quick mobilization is the key to success of these programs.
St. Louis Region Crime Commission is a charitable, 501 (c) 3 recognized organization that has been heavily focused on aiding victims and families of victims of violent crime, as well as supporting law enforcement for over 13 years. The St. Louis Region Crime Commission focuses on fighting crime in three different ways: gathering information related to violent crimes through Crimestoppers TIP Line, aiding those who are proactively working to de-escalate violent crime before it happens, and actively helping the community remove and demolish dangerous and abandoned buildings as they often serve as havens for crime.
Better Family Life, co-founded by James Clark and Malik Ahmed, is a charitable, 501 (c) 3 recognized organization that works to provide social, cultural, and academic programs in order to foster a cohesive, family atmosphere for youths and adults in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. Better Family Life works to prevent violent crime through gun violence deterrence centers, door to door advocacy, and the destruction of derelict buildings with the Clean Sweep initiative.
“So many people are doing so much to help save lives in St. Louis. The citizens of St. Louis, the Attorney General, the U.S. Attorney, the Mayor, our Chief of Police and the Crime Commission working with citizens like James Clark and organizations like Better Family Life, the Regional Business Council and Civic Progress are making real progress. Together, we will save lives,” said Ed Dowd, President of the St. Louis Regional Crime Commission.
“Our crisis is much larger than our differences. Neighborhood residents, churches, social service organizations, law enforcement, and elected officials must find common ground to provide solutions to our growing crisis – today’s announcement is a good sign of progress towards that mission,” said James Clark, Vice President of Better Family Life. “Through direct and continued engagement that focuses on the ‘neighborhoods, porches, and living rooms,’ we can efficiently provide resources to families, neighborhoods, and communities in dire need.”
“Combating violent crime across Missouri is an important priority of mine as the state’s Attorney General. Through the Safer Streets Initiative, we’re working every single day to ensure that those responsible for tearing apart our families, neighborhoods, and communities are held accountable for their actions. Unfortunately, prosecution is only part of the multifaceted approach needed to combat violent crime, which is why community engagement and deterrence efforts are incredibly important,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “I’m grateful that the St. Louis Regional Crime Commission, U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen, James Clark and Better Family Life, Chief Hayden, Chief Belmar, and the Missouri Attorney General’s Office are all working together to fight this violent crime issue at its root and foster safer streets, neighborhoods, and communities.”
“There is no easy solution to violent crime in our area. We know that. But, we also know that collaboration among citizens, the law enforcement community, the business community, and groups such as Better Family Life is critically important to violent crime reduction,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Jeff Jensen.
“Today’s decision by the St. Louis Crime Commission to make such a significant investment in the work of Better Family Life will no doubt yield huge dividends in the reduction of violent crime in our City. When the outreach specialists of Better Family Life work hand-in-hand with our gang intervention detectives to relocate persons involved in armed conflict, not only are the lives of those at the center of the conflict saved, but also those lives which would be potentially lost through retaliation,” said St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief John Hayden.
“This collaborative efforts of Better Family Life, the U.S Attorney’s Office, the Attorney General’s Office, area law enforcement, and the St. Louis Crime Commission is making a difference in our region. Addressing issues before they escalate into violent crimes and empowering families will help build safer neighborhoods where our children can thrive,” said St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar.