South St. Louis communities hire off-duty officers to patrol nei - KMOV.com

South St. Louis communities hire off-duty officers to patrol neighborhoods

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Residents of the Carondelet neighborhood are looking into hiring off-duty officers to patrol the neighborhood. Credit: KMOV Residents of the Carondelet neighborhood are looking into hiring off-duty officers to patrol the neighborhood. Credit: KMOV
SOUTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -

A south St. Louis community is working on a way to make their neighborhood safer.

If you live in Carondelet, you may be starting to notice off-duty officers on your block.

"I just want to keep our neighborhood safe," said Angela Cierpiot.

Cierpiot has called Carondelet home for over 25 years. She told News 4 that crime can be less of a concern in her community with a little effort.

"A lot of people complain about the crime and what's going on in our neighborhood," said Cierpiot. "You need to take action and get involved."

Cierpiot's helping implements a program called "Cops Walking a Beat" in Carondelet. It's a system that brings two off-duty officers into the neighborhood a few times a week, working four-hour shifts.

"We've had neighbors hug them they are so happy to see them it's really a good program," said Cierpiot.

"This is a way that they are out of their cars," said Steve Butz. "It's much more face-to-face human, personal contact."

Steve Butz started the "Cops Walking a Beat" program in Holly Hills last November.

Whether it's walking the streets or riding in a golf cart, Butz said the police are making their presence known by engaging with residents and the result has been a reduction in crime.

"We're changing the narrative that there has to be this divide between the citizens and police," said Butz.

Cierpiot would like to see the same change in Carondelet, but more funding is needed from neighbors to keep the program pushing forward.

"We should preserve these neighborhoods and not let them become crime-ridden," said Cierpiot.

Cierpiot said they already have over two dozen donors, but their hope is to have at least 50 homes contributing around $20 a month to pay Campbell Security for the off-duty officers.

For details on how you can donate, email Cierpiota@gmail.com.

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