Best Practices
 

CITY OF ST. LOUIS
Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr.

Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Stabilization

When Freeman Bosley, Jr. was elected Mayor of St. Louis, he promised to refocus the resources of city government on residential neighborhoods. He followed through on his promise by creating the Mayor's Neighborhood Stabilization Team.

The Neighborhood Stabilization Team includes 27 Neighborhood Stabilization Officers (NSOs). Together they cover all 79 neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis. These NSOs have four functions:

Point People for City Services -- The NSOs help direct and focus city services by identifying problems and issuing citations and/or putting in work orders. Examples include boarding up abandoned buildings, getting trash problems dealt with, citing derelict cars, putting in orders for health and building inspections etc. NSOs represent the neighborhoods at city hearings and meetings.
  • Solving Problems -- A lot of neighborhood problems are too complex to solve with just a citation or work order. NSOs work with other governmental agencies, social service organizations, neighborhood organizations and individuals to solve problems. Examples include closing down drug houses, tracking down absentee landlords and making sure they get followed up on in housing court.

  • Community Organizers -- NSOs organize and mobilize community residents with the goal of making them full participants in the neighborhood stabilization process. Examples include setting up block units, property owners' associations, and public safety committees.

  • Strategic Planners -- At the point that neighborhoods are ready, NSOs work with neighborhood groups and individuals to develop and implement comprehensive stabilization plans in areas of public safety, clean-up and beautification, recreation, neighborhood marketing, and education.
Neighborhood Stabilization Officers are the Mayor's personal conduits to city residents. They carry out the Mayor's number one priority --- stabilizing neighborhoods. Neighborhood Stabilization Officers form partnerships and coalitions. They bring city departments, the Police Department, the Board of Education, other governmental entities, neighborhood groups and individuals together to plan and solve problems in a coordinated way. As a result, resources are maximized, the different branches of government cooperate and tax dollars are spent more efficiently.

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St. Louis City Out-Post Site Program

The St. Louis City Out-Post Site Program serves as an anti-crime initiative developed by the Mayor's Youth/Crime Task Force. After studying a map of the City of St. Louis and identifying the city's recreational facilities and private agencies (e.g., YMCA, Boy's Clubs), it was discovered that there were neighborhoods with no recreational facilities. Further review revealed these neighborhoods also lead in juvenile crimes (including gang activity, graffiti, car thefts, loitering, juvenile assaults, and drug trafficking).

To address this concern an agreement was reached with the St. Louis Public Schools. This agreement resulted in a joint venture that would provide recreational outlets for youth/young adults throughout the City of St. Louis. The Out-Post Site Program opens St. Louis Public Schools during evening hours to serve as recreation centers. These sites are supervised by recreational staff of the St. Louis City Department of Recreation. The St. Louis Public Schools supply the janitorial staff required. All sites are opened Monday through Saturday, 4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Some sites in more "at-risk" neighborhoods are opened as late as midnight to service the community.

The results of the Out-Post Site Program have been overwhelming. In the neighborhoods where the program was initiated, crime has dropped between 10 and 20 percent or more. Calls to the Police Department for juvenile suspects have greatly been reduced. Youth loitering and graffiti have also been reduced tremendously. The Out-Post Sites offer the exact same programs and the same caliber services as the regular St. Louis City Recreation Centers.

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Project 87

Project 87 was initiated by Mayor Bosley in March 1993. The project is a cooperative effort between the St. Louis Police Department and the City Building Division to rid neighborhoods of drug houses and the danger and crime that accompany them. Property inspections would routinely turn up evidence that drugs were being sold out of residential neighborhoods. Through a cooperative effort, building inspectors serve as the additional eyes of the police. They work together to notify landlords of the violations that are revalent while the police confirm drug trafficking. If the violations aren't corrected in a certain amount of time, the building is closed down and the dealers are run out of their drug houses. The program started with one building inspector. Because of its success all three area police stations now have their own building inspectors assigned to them, creating an even better working relationship between the two governmental entities. Results are impressive: 100 drug houses were shut down in 1993, 300 the following year. An outgrowth of this cooperation is the overall increase in public safety for citizens involved in tenant-landlord relationships. This effort is critical to the Mayor's neighborhood stabilization efforts. Inspectors are more aware of residents' needs and it has proven to be beneficial for all involved.

Contact: Office of the Mayor, (314) 622-3201

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