Thursday, December 29, 2011

Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Happy New Year!

Published: 12-28-2011
Many terrific events and opportunities to ring in 2012.
Charles Bryson, Director of Public Safety
The beginning of the New Year is only days away. If you are like me, you’re thinking about what you can do better in 2012. Maybe your list includes trying to eat healthier, trying to get in more exercise, or trying to save more in your Rainy Day fund. I want to take this opportunity to encourage you in the next 12 months to 1) support more local small businesses; 2) do something to make your property, your block, your neighborhood and St. Louis better in 2012; and 3) take steps to be better prepared in case of an emergency or natural disaster.
I also want to take a moment to thank everyone in public safety and emergency response for their hard work and dedication. St. Louis’ continued progress depends in part on their efforts to ensure the safety of the general public. We are always searching for new and better ways to provide top-notch service, and I am sure that 2012 will bring new insights into best practices to improve performance and reach our goals.

Best wishes for a safe, happy New Year!

Listed below are just a few of the terrific events that are coming up in St. Louis. I encourage you to take advantage of all that our great City neighborhoods have to offer. Also, if you haven't visited the City's website ( ), I encourage you to do so. On our home page you will find a link to the Calendar of Events. Please feel free to see what activities are coming up and to submit an event that your organization will be holding. The listing is free. See you in the neighborhood!

Coming to a Close

If you haven’t been to the St. Louis Zoo to see the U.S. Bank Wild Lights display, the final evening will be Friday, Dec. 30 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Admission is $5 to enjoy the half a million lights, visit the Penguin & Puffin Coast, stop by the Monsanto Insectarium, ride the Conservation Carousel, and more. For additional details, log onto .  
The Transport Me: Toys From a Riverboat City display at Eugene Field House & St. Louis Toy Museum will conclude on Friday, Dec. 30. St. Louis has thrived as a city built by riverboats, steam engines and trains. The Eugene Field House collection of transportation toys includes not only boats and trains, but also early models of cars and planes. Price is $5 for adults, $1 for children 11 and under. The museum is located at 634 S. Broadway. Hours of the exhibit: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Noon Year’s Eve Celebration

Radio Disney, AM 1260, St. Louis is inviting children and families to ring in the New Year from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31 at the St. Louis Science Center, 5050 Oakland Avenue in the Kings Oak neighborhood. Activities will include interactive entertainment, prizes and vacation giveaways. The celebration is free. Visit  for more details.

New Year’s Eve Candlelight Memorial Service

Families Advocating Safe Streets will hold its 20th Annual New Year’s Eve Candlelight Memorial Vigil at 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 31 at El Bethel Church of God in Christ, 4020 Page Blvd. The service commemorates those who lost their lives to violence in 2011. The names of homicide victims from St. Louis City and County will be read. Everyone is invited to attend and support the families who lost loved ones to senseless violence this year.

First Night St. Louis

St. Louis’ largest, most creative non-alcoholic New Year’s Eve celebration – First Night St. Louis -- will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year. “Xanadu” is the theme for Grand Center’s annual event which will feature music, dance, magic, comedy, activities for all ages and two fireworks displays to greet 2012. Price: $5 children and $10 adults. For details, visit .

Open House at the YMCA

Is exercising more one of your New Year’s resolutions? If so, then you may start the New Year off on the right foot by stopping by the New Year’s Day Open House at the YMCA. All YMCAs across the Greater St. Louis area (except Marquette) will be open to the public on Sunday, Jan 1, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to accommodate those individuals intent on making good on their New Year’s resolution of healthy living. Those who join the Y on Jan. 1 will receive a special membership offer and have the opportunity to take part in sample classes, special activities and more. Interested? Call (314) 436-4100. 

Passport to Kwanzaa

To celebrate this special season, the St. Louis Art Museum in collaboration with the St. Louis Metropolitan Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will hold Passport to Kwanzaa from 1 – 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 1 at the Art Museum in beautiful Forest Park. The free event includes hands-on art activities, a self-guided tour and scavenger hunt. Learn the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa and make your own zawadi necklace with African-inspired beads and cowry shells. Want more information? Visit .

Tip of the Cap

My final “tip of the cap” of 2011 goes to the men and women in the sixteen neighborhoods that have taken ownership of their blocks and neighborhoods by forming Citizen Patrols. For those of you not familiar with the program, here’s how Citizen Patrol works:

  • Residents are trained by the police to go on regular patrols
  • They report crimes and quality of life issues, such as abandoned vehicles and overflowing trash/debris in alleys
  • They go to court to support victims and work with the Circuit Attorney’s Office to get neighborhood orders of protection; and
  • They write impact letters to judges.
If you are interested in becoming an extra set of eyes and ears for your neighborhood through Citizen Patrol, please let me know.

Save the Date

Jan. 6, 2012 – Twelfth Night, Soulard
Jan. 6 – Star Trek First Fridays, St. Louis Science Center
Jan. 7 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. State Celebration Kick-Off, Harris-Stowe State University
Jan. 7 – 1772 Twelfth Afternoon Ball, Old Courthouse
Jan. 7 – January Family Day, World Chess Hall of Fame
Jan. 8 – Family Sundays, St. Louis Art Museum
Jan. 8 – Lemp Mansion Bridal Show


The Department of Public Safety's City Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) provides free emergency alert service through Nixle ( ). When you register for the service, you will receive our informative and timely text messages on your cell phone and/or as emails on your computer. Visit the Nixle website and sign up for the free service today. If you have any comments about the service, please let me know.
Will you be having an event in your neighborhood that we can support? If so, you may email the information about it to me at  or to Cathy Smentkowski at   for consideration of noting it in the Spotlight or you may post it on the City's Calendar of Events.
And remember, if you see something in the neighborhood that just doesn't look right, REPORT IT!

Charles Bryson
Director of Public Safety
City of St. Louis

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