West County police department creates new unit to help connect with community

The Ellisville Police station (Credit: KMOV)

The Ellisville Police Department is working to help build closer relationships with residents and business owners as they launch their new community policing unit this week.

Two officers will now focus their full-time work toward building relationships within the community that officers working on service calls might not otherwise have time to do.

“We’re here for them,” said Officer Ryan Schneider, one of the two police officers now designated to the unit. “They’re the backbone of the police department, without them, we wouldn’t be here.”

Officer Schneider and Corp. George Coreless will head to businesses, schools, trails, parks and other areas to meet and greet with residents and work to build trust.

“It’s lead to a sense of security for us,” said Todd Broadbent, general manager at Clarkson Jewelers.

Broadbent says the timing for the new unit couldn’t have come better as a handful of jewelry stores have been robbed around the area in the past months.

“With the elevated risks we’ve been encountering in this industry we were really pleased to have this now,” he said.

For Officer Schneider, the new role has allowed him to do one of the things he loves most: interacting with people.

“Really get to know the community on a personal level,” he said, “and not just a police officer driving in a car and waving at you.”

The officers will also do bike patrols around trails and other areas they might not have access to in their patrol cars.

“For us to be able to have the opportunity to put 100 percent to the community policing aspect,” said Schneider. “That’ll give us an extra upper hand on anything.”

Copyright 2018 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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