Maria Keena

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Taking back their streets one neighborhood at a time — they are not police officers, but civilians.

Sixty St. Louis residents were honored Thursday night as part of the Neighborhood Ownership program.

“The most-powerful force in the criminal justice system, for good, is the citizens.” said St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce at the ceremony.

Joyce said those residents have made their neighborhoods safer.

Rita Ford is the President of the Gravois Park Neighborhood, but her group was the first to start the Court Watch Program, “One day I just opened my door and didn’t realize how much the neighborhood had changed. That’s when I started to get involved.”

Circuit Attorney Joyce said residents from all over the city have begun forming neighborhood ownership model organizations, “They’re making a big difference. It’s amazing to look around the city and see the impact citizen involvement is having.”

Joyce added that when citizens go to court and tell a judge about a crime, the circuit tttorney’s office is able to do its job more effectively.



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