St. Louis citizens honored for fighting crime in neighborhoods

Posted on: 10:02 pm, December 4, 2013, by

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – The “rock stars of St. Louis” is what Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce is calling the citizens who step up to fight crime in their neighborhoods.

On Wednesday night, the Circuit Attorney’s Office held a seasonal celebration to honor five residents from various neighborhoods, as well as an assistant circuit attorney, for helping improve their communities.  The honorees, along with law enforcement and prosecutors, encourage residents across the city to do the same.

Even with police patrolling these neighborhoods, and hot spot policing in some areas, Joyce says the impact of citizens’ eyes and ears significantly helps.  “These neighborhoods have really moved the needle in safety in their neighborhoods, and that’s why we’re honoring them tonight,” she explains.

But it isn’t only about reporting crimes to police. One award winner, Dale Sweet, has gone to court for the past ten years, describing the impact that various crimes have had on him and his neighbors. He says, “It’s very helpful for them to have people who live on the block where the defendant lived, where the crime occurred, etc., to come to court, to take time out of their day, to explain the effect this has. My cousin doesn’t want to visit me on Thanksgiving because he doesn’t want to park his car on the street.”

Another winner, Ciera Simril, acts as a go-between, talking to neighbors and victims who are too frightened to speak to police themselves. She explains, “I feel like it’s very important for us as citizens to be able to contribute something back to our neighborhood because we live there as well, and we definitely want to improve the quality of life for our future children that are going to grow up in the neighborhood.”

The award winners were selected by a panel of St. Louis residents who were nominees themselves, but decided to forego their chance to win in order to help honor others.

This second annual seasonal celebration also included a reception afterwards, which provided an opportunity for residents from different neighborhoods to share ideas and experiences as they tirelessly work to improve their quality of life.