St. Louis Police Launch ‘Safe Place’ Program

Brad Choat (@choatsnews)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – St. Louis is joining more than 60 cities across the country where police have set up “safe places” in an effort to reduce crime and harassment against members of the LGBTQ community.

Officer Christopher Pederson says Park Avenue Coffee downtown was the first business to register as a safe place.

“They’re going to have signage there, and they’re going to welcome in individuals that may need some sort of help,” he says. “Generally, they are welcome to call 911 and wait for officers to respond.”

Pederson says Seattle police started the program in May 2015. His hope is that by next year’s PrideFest, dozens more downtown St. Louis businesses will have signed up.

dale schotte St. Louis Police Launch Safe Place Program

Owner Dale Schotte places a “Safe Place” sticker in the window of Park Avenue Coffee at 417 North 10th Street in St. Louis on June 23, 2017 (KMOX/Brad Choat)

Park Avenue Coffee owner Dale Schotte says his employees have been trained on what to do if victims of crime or harassment come in seeking police help.

“Everyone in downtown St. Louis should have a safe place to go. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you need help, you are welcome to go in any business downtown I would think,” he says. “This just reaffirms with the LGBTQ community that we are there for them specifically, as well.”

St. Louis police say businesses wanting to join the program and get a decal for their window can email safeplace@slmpd.org.

More from Brad Choat
Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS St. Louis

KMOX Podcasts
High School Spotlight
As Heard On KMOX

Listen Live