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Phase Two Of College Hill Initiative Begins

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Two weeks after its crime-ridden streets were flooded with police officers, St. Louis’ College Hill neighborhood is about to see what city officials are calling “phase two” of their “hot spot initiative.”

This second phase involves the St. Louis Building Division, Department of Health, Street Department and Forestry Division which, in tandem, will be securing vacant houses, cleaning debris and ensuring street lights are working.

Neighborhood stabilization officers will help ensure properties meet building codes and the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment will pass out information on employment, job training and educational opportunities.

So-called “hot-spot policing” began after the near north side neighborhood saw four shootings, including three murders, in just over a week late last month. The policing style places an emphasis on troubled neighborhoods, pushing more officers and resources into them.

Armed with everything from weed eaters to bulldozers, Forestry Department crews Wednesday began cleaning up the many vacant lots while Building Division workers board up the many vacant buildings in this neighborhood.

Alderman Antonio French believes the cleanup will have a lasting impact.

“It does matter how a neighborhood looks. As the city being the largest land owner over here, they need to take some responsibility for how College Hill looks,” he said.

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