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Sunday, January 24, 2010

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department on a County Resident's Potential Move to Tower Grove South

First, the potential city-dweller, from CopTalk:

Posted by Noco Popo on 1/19/2010, 9:34 pm
Single female, currenly living and working in North County. Considering moving to the Tower Grove/South City area. Wondering if I will regret this decision, and hoping my brothers and sisters in blue working this area could advise. Should I give it a chance or go with the south or west county areas??
Then, the responses from our city's police officers:

Posted by third dist po on 1/20/2010, 8:14 am, in reply to "City Living"
I work in TG South (Dist 3). I would not move to TG South...many burglaries daily...robberies on S. Grand...South Hamtpon/Princeton Heights/St. Louis Hills (if you can afford the Hills) would be my recommendation if you MUST move to the City.

Posted by Comp Stat on 1/20/2010, 8:20 am, in reply to "City Living"
Stay away for your safety.

The chief just transferred a whole squad of officers from my neighborhood in District One in South Patrol to District Six on the north side of the city.

We have also had a unusual number of murders in the South Patrol since the first of the year.

That is the way I see it. I don't even need the pie charts.
Posted by po on 1/20/2010, 9:47 pm, in reply to "Re: City Living"
I don't want to give a fellow copper the idea of moving to TG South is a good idea. Some homes may look nice but crime surrounds them, daily, day in and day out...this city is done.
The conversation continues with the predictable response from police officers saying only they truly know what goes on day in and day out in the city. While I agree that their jobs must be impossibly taxing, and that the city does grapple with a severe crime problem, urging people not to live in the city solves nothing! It actually, of course, causes all sorts of problems.

Having had friends that live in north St. Louis, I have been pulled over by St. Louis MPD cops who assume I'm there to buy drugs. One officer saw that I was white, rolled down his window when he pulled next to me, and demanded, saying nothing else, "Go South!".

While I assume this is normal protocol to curb drug-seekers, it doesn't make it any less destructive and irresponsible in my opinion. I don't expect the fine people who protect our city to harbor the most positive image of the city with respect to what they see and do everyday. But when they serve as detractors to city-living, they're making their own jobs more difficult.


Michael R. Allen said...

I'm not sure that all posters on that board are active police offers.

Daron said...

I had similar recommendations from police officers when I was younger.

Joe P. said...

I read through that before and was not surprised by the anti-city sentiment on there. If you follow coptalk regularly you will see plenty of anti-city bias. This shouldn't too surprising considering, as you pointed out, that they see the worst of the worst every single day. Plus, there were some posts that mentioned some good things about the city.

It's important to remember several things about coptalk and the SLMPD in general:

1) I have heard from several city cops that coptalk represents a small fraction of the department, and many posters aren't even cops at all.

2) Police officers as a whole tend to be more conservative, more suburban oriented, and care less about much-touted advantages of city living. Yes I'm stereotyping a bit, but I don't think it's preposterous to say most cops would prefer a suburban lifestyle.

3) Tower Grove South is plenty safe for those of us who are more urban minded but lets be real, there have been murders in the neighborhood in the last year and robberies and such are not entirely unheard of there. Different people have different tolerances for crime. I love TGS but I can see why others might think it's too dangerous to live in.

Overall, I very much agree with you that SLMPD officers should be more pro-city and encourage others to move to the city. I know some that do and I know some that really love the city. They certainly aren't represented on coptalk, but they do exist.

If I'm a STL Police officer I want there to be less criminals, more taxpayers, stronger neighborhood organizations, and more investment. Those things make their jobs easier and better. Unfortunately it seems too many just view the city as where they do their jobs and once they retire they want nothing more to do with it. That's their choice, but I wish more would take part in St. Louis' long road to becoming a great city again.

Chris said...

If it matters at all, the recent discussion has gotten much more reasonable at that site; a lot of posters are much more evenhanded.

Cara Marie said...

wow, I am appalled by that. what a shame. at our last tower grove east meeting, officer joseph calabro had nice things to say about living in the city. it was nice to hear as a new city resident who moved from university city.
btw, a couple of years ago, you posted something about the old everman quarry in dutchtown. have you found out anything since?

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