St. Louis, Missouri (STL.News) Better Family Life can expand its efforts to combat crime in the St. Louis-area thanks to a $200,000 donation from the St. Louis Crime Commission. The St. Louis Crime Commission was joined by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Jeff Jensen, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Chief John Hayden, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, along with other community leaders, to announce the donation during a Monday afternoon press conference at the Thomas Eagleton Courthouse in downtown St. Louis.
St. Louis Crime Commission President Ed Dowd presented the check to James Clark, vice-president of Better Family Life.
“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 Dowd.
“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 Clark.
“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.” Clark added.
Most of the money will be used for more outreach volunteers, according to Clark.
“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 Schmitt.
This announcement comes after an especially violent holiday weekend in the St. Louis-area. In north St. Louis County, five men were found shot to death on Saturday in an apartment along the 1900 block of Chambers Road. Those victims have been identified as 54-year-old Derrick Penny, 54-year-old James L. Penny, 37-year-old Rodney E. Holt, 65-year-old Rondall Mullin, and 40-year-old Ronald Brewster Jr.
Crime didn’t take a break in the City of St. Louis over the holiday weekend either. Over 20 people were shot in between Thursday and Monday.