Police expand patrols following shooting at Webster Groves Park


by Diana Zoga


Posted on July 21, 2011 at 8:28 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 21 at 10:38 PM

Ivory Crockett Park

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(KMOV) -- Renese Jones lives within walking distance of Ivory Crockett Park in Webster Groves, yet she says she doesn't venture in.

"A child could have gotten shot. I don't even let my daughter go over there in the park because it's a lot of chaos over there," said Jones.

At around 6 p.m. on July 6th, neighbors called 911 about a fight in the park that involved as many as 25 men. Soon after, police began receiving calls about gunshots. When police arrived, officers did not find any victims or property damage, but police did find several spent shell casings.

Webster Groves Police say they beef up patrols around the park every summer, but have increased efforts since July 6th.

"We've gone ahead and augmented that even more-so," said Captain Stephen Spear.

"You're going to see a real visible presence. I think the neighborhood up there is probably seeing it already and there's some stuff going on behind the scenes as well."

Captain Spear declined to detail police patrol tactics, but would say police are also enforcing ordinance violations including use of alcohol in the park and gambling.

Another area resident, Pat Wright, told News 4 that she has had concerns about gambling and possible drug deals in the park for years. She said she has seen an increased police presence, but wonders if it's enough to deter problems.