Neighborhood Policing

What is Neighborhood Policing?

St. Louis County Police and area neighborhoods have joined together in a partnership. This partnership is the foundation of St. Louis County's own philosophy of neighborhood policing. By working together we can find lasting solutions to problems that affect our community.

Neighborhood policing has become a popular crime-fighting strategy across the country, but there is no one definition of community policing or one specific way of carrying it out. From the start, the St. Louis County Police Department has taken a no nonsense approach to crime and violence. Neighborhood Policing is a philosophy - one of a partnership between police and law-abiding citizens to create permanent solutions to problems that lead to crime. We express these ideals for all to see as we display our motto:

To Serve and Protect

Our officers incorporate into their daily activities the concepts and ideals of Neighborhood Policing. This increased interaction between our officers and citizens serves to safeguard the community and communicate to would-be offenders a firm no nonsense approach to law and order.

How Does Neighborhood Policing Affect Me?

Neighborhood Policing is a partnership of the police, the community, and other agencies of St. Louis County government. Armed with the philosophy of neighborhood policing, these groups come together to identify, analyze, and solve the crime and disorder problems that are unique to each area neighborhood.

What Has the Department Done to Create this Partnership?

Through the many years that the St. Louis County Police Department has been committed to the Neighborhood Policing Philosophy there have been many initiatives to improve the partnership and thereby the services offered to County residents and visitors. A number of these are listed on a separate Initiatives page.

What are Beat Officers?

With a neighborhood policing approach a knowledgeable team of neighborhood beat officers is formed, to serve and provide service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This team is assigned to each one of St. Louis County Police Department's police beats. Every beat is grouped together with 2 to 4 other beats to form a neighborhood policing sector. Each sector has a Watch Commander who is accountable for the events that happen within a neighborhood to a Precinct Commander, and ultimately to the Chief of Police and the citizens we serve and protect. Each precinct has Neighborhood Police Stations situated well within the geographical boundaries of a community. Beat officers meet with citizens and one another, exchange information and make relief from these neighborhood stations.

Are My Beat Officers Always the Same?

Beat officers patrol the same beat, within the same neighborhood and are provided with a yearly computer schedule that is designed to allow the beat officer an opportunity to get to know the residents, businesses and schools where our children attend and grow. This neighborhood policing approach is used successfully with not only the neighborhoods in unincorporated St. Louis County, but with the 16 cities and 10 school districts that have made the decision to make St. Louis County Police their exclusive provider of professional law enforcement. St. Louis County Police beat officers serve the community 365 days a year and consistently spend over 5,000,000 minutes a year responding to every call for police service received by our fully staffed state-of-the-art communications center.

What is Beat Integrity?

Beat integrity is a sense of ownership and responsibility that is continuously taught by our police academy to our officers. This means to the beat officers, that they are accountable to our citizens and the Department for the events that occur in their neighborhood. The creation of beats and sectors enables an officer to stay in their local neighborhood, on their assigned beats, addressing the crime and disorder problems that are particular to each neighborhood. Beat integrity also involves the prompt answering of calls for service and a proactive self- initiated approach to problem solving. Beat officers, neighborhood policing offices as well as gang and tactical operations officers are trained to work together on solving problems of crime and neighborhood disorder.

How are Beat Officers Sent to Calls?

To help maintain beat integrity and to ensure a rapid response to emergency calls for service, the Police Department uses a CAD (Computer Aided Dispatching) system and has adopted a policy to insure the efficiencies associated with how police cars are dispatched. Under this policy calls are prioritized. Emergency calls are dispatched immediately. Those calls that do not require an immediate response or have experienced a significant delay before being called in, will be dispatched immediately unless the beat officer is out of service. In that event the call can be held for up to 30 minutes, thereby allowing the beat officer to finish their assignment and accept the pending call. If the call is to obtain a report for insurance requirements the caller may speak to one of our CARE (Computer Assisted Report Entry) operators. The finished report is then electronically provided to the beat officer and supervisors working in the area where the incident had taken place.

How is the Beat Near My House Created?

By having information immediately entered into the state of the art CARE and CAD system, beat profiles and comprehensive records of the characteristics, resources, and crime problems on each geographical area are developed. Through the use of this computer technology the Department's Planning and Analysis Unit uses the information to develop a beat and helps the Department and the community prioritize problem concerns and plan action strategies. Beat plans and neighborhood profiles are developed and used by the Department to document the problem-solving process.

Are My Officers Well-trained?

Beat officers are professionally trained, POST certified commissioned officers, using fully equipped, motorized police vehicles. They provide patrol to our citizens not only in their squad cars, but on foot as well as on police bicycles. The St. Louis County and Municipal Academy developed a community training standard for local law enforcement agencies that was used as a model by the State of Missouri for their Peace Officers' Continuing Education requirement. The St. Louis County Police Department continues to set high standards, as indicated by the Department's professional accreditation from CALEA in all three areas of certification: department, training academy, and communications. St. Louis County Police Department is one of the few in the world and the only in Missouri to have all three accreditations.

Is There Anything I Can Do?

For years, police departments asked the community to be their eyes and ears—to be on the lookout for crime and to quickly report incidents to the police. Today, reporting crime continues to be an important role for the public. With a neighborhood policing philosophy, the St. Louis County Police Department is asking our neighborhoods to be more than just eyes and ears.

St. Louis County Police began a partnership formed by joining the police with community members. This partnership is perfect for solving neighborhood crime problems and making the streets safer. Our officers know the importance of this partnership and will make every effort to meet the citizens we serve. Conversely citizens need to take the time to meet the officers who patrol their neighborhood. The Citizen Ride Along Program affords citizens an opportunity to actually ride along in a marked police vehicle with your neighborhood beat officer. The experiences have been rewarding for everyone involved. Please work with your beat officers, your neighbors and neighborhood policing officers to determine the priority desired to address crime or problems in your neighborhood.

How Else Can I Get Involved?

Ask and find out what the police are doing—and what you can do—to fight crime and address the priority problems on your block and your officer's beat. Meet your neighbors and get organized. You can do all of these, and more, at your neighborhood watch meeting.

Neighborhood watch meetings are held on a regular basis in every precinct. In many neighborhoods meetings are held monthly, every other month or quarterly. The meetings usually do not exceed one hour. The meetings provide you with the opportunity to help set the crime-fighting priorities in your community—to work with your beat officers in identifying and prioritizing crime and disorder problems, in analyzing those problems, and in developing strategies to address them.

Check at your precinct station, neighborhood police station or with your local neighborhood policing officer to find out when the next neighborhood watch meeting is being held.

Click here to go to a listing of stations with addresses, phone numbers and maps.

Report Crime ... Make the Call

If you see a crime in progress or another emergency situation that requires an immediate police response, call 911. Provide the call-taker with a good description of the incident, the offender, and the exact location.

For non-emergencies, however, do not call 911. Non-emergency calls to 911 can slow the response time to true emergencies. The number to call for non-emergencies is (314) 889-2341.


St. Louis County Police Department CALEA Logo
7900 Forsyth Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63105

Emergency Calls: Call 911
Non-Emergency Reporting / General Information: (314) 889-2341
TDD: (314) 889-2345