St. Charles County Connection Header
A Publication of St. Charles County Government - December 2019

Top Five
Things to Know About St. Charles County This Month

1. Winter is Here - Take Steps to Be Prepared!

Winter Preparedness

Extreme cold, snow, freezing rain, sleet...Missourians see it all during the winter. Even if you feel like a pro when it comes to managing icy temps and precipitation, it's still important to take time and prepare for the season.

"Winter weather can sneak up on us in the Midwest. One day it's 50 degrees, and the next day we have six inches of snow and highs in the teens," explains Captain Chris Hunt, Director of St. Charles County Regional Emergency Management. "This is why it's necessary to work the season into your family's overall preparedness plans, re-evaluate them annually, and purchase necessary winter gear and supplies in advance."

Check out this fun video for winter preparedness tips! Also, visit REM's winter preparedness webpage for more information, including what to add in emergency kits for your home and vehicle and how to keep children and pets safe in the cold.


2. Connecting with Cultures, Faiths Vital to County PD Success

Alfonso Navarro Bernachi, Head Consul of the Consulado de Mexico, and Val Joyner, Public Information Officer and Cultural Liaison

Alfonso Navarro Bernachi, Head Consul of the Consulado de Mexico in Kansas City, and Val Joyner, Public Affairs Officer and Cultural Liaison for the SCCPD, at a town hall meeting for the Hispanic community at Saint Louis University earlier this year. Joyner presented about the SCCPD and community resources. 

From enforcing laws to helping those in need, the St. Charles County Police Department (SCCPD) interacts with individuals from a variety of cultures and faiths every day. Since 2016, the SCCPD has participated in ongoing intercultural outreach and education efforts to help officers and staff serve the various communities that live and work in St. Charles County.

“We want to ensure that everyone who interacts with the St. Charles County Police Department feels respected and secure,” says Chief of Police David Todd. “Knowledge of cultural and religious norms and communication styles is critical to making this happen.”

Val Joyner, Public Affairs Officer and Cultural Liaison for the SCCPD, continuously reaches out to various groups in the community to organize events and department tours. She also identifies intercultural training opportunities for officers and staff.

“The communities we work with appreciate that we’re taking the time to meet them, build relationships, and hear their concerns,” Joyner says. “The officers and staff are extremely open to learning more about other cultures and religions, so they can better understand those they serve."

This fall, the Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis worked with the SCCPD to host a “meet and greet” with members of the Islamic, Hindu and Sikh communities. Nauman Wadalawala, board member of the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis and Special Assistant United States Attorney, attended the event. As an attorney, Wadalawala works with law enforcement daily and has seen how efforts to connect with various communities builds trust.

“For example, those who practice Islam remove their shoes before entering a home,” he explains. “While it’s not practical for officers to remove their shoes, a police department can provide shoe covers to wear if an officer needs to interview a Muslim individual in their home. While an effort like this may seem small, it’s important because it can help an individual feel respected, open and receptive to law enforcement.”  

Intercultural and interfaith groups interested in meeting with the SCCPD can contact Joyner at 636-949-3057 or email SCCPDCommunity@sccmo.org

3. Job Center Helps Offenders Get Second Chance 

Preparing for Job Interview

Peggy Muehlbauer believes everyone deserves a second chance. That’s why, when her supervisor at the Missouri Job Center of St. Charles County asked her if she would oversee programs for Justice Involved Individuals (JII), or those who have been incarcerated, she readily agreed. The Missouri Job Center is operated by the St. Charles County Department of Workforce Development and is located in St. Peters.

After release, unless the court specifies differently, JIIs must become employed to pay costs related to their parole or probation, and to support themselves. Muehlbauer says statistics show that employment also reduces the recidivism rate. But, she says, finding a job under those circumstances is not easy.

In her role, Muehlbauer administers an occupations interest profile assessment, provides one-on-one intensive career counseling, and helps identify appropriate job sectors and occupations. She also leads the Second Chance Workshop and lets JIIs know about apprenticeships and on-the-job training opportunities. During the training, individuals learn how to answer questions about their convictions on applications and during job interviews. They are advised how to share information regarding Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and Federal Bonding with employers who hire JIIs.

“Our goal for the future is to continue educating and consulting with organizations and the community about how better to assist Justice Involved Individuals so we can all play a role in reducing recidivism,” Muehlbauer says. “Doing so is a win-win for all of us.”

For more information on the Second Chance Workshop and programs for JIIs, visit Workforce Development’s website. Employers interested in hiring JIIs can potentially qualify for WOTC or Federal Bonding programs. To learn more, visit wotc.dhewd.mo.gov or jobs.mo.gov.




4. Federal Assistance Programs Available for Residents in Need

Woman Looking at Bills
Have you or someone you know:
  • Fallen on hard financial times and are unable to do home repairs, keep up with rent, or pay utility bills?
  • Had difficulty buying a home because of income?
  • Been unable to travel to doctor appointments or make other essential trips?
There is help.

St. Charles County’s Community Development Department oversees administration of federal funding for housing and social assistance programs from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Programs are available to all eligible income-qualified residents of “St. Charles Urban County” as defined by HUD and includes St. Charles, St. Peters, Cottleville, Weldon Spring, New Melle, St. Paul, Lake Saint Louis, Wentzville and unincorporated areas of St. Charles County.

“Providing these programs is important to assist our community” explains Michael Hurlbert, Director of Community Development. “In 2018, these programs helped nearly 2,000 residents in need.” 
For more information about these and other assistance programs, visit us online.

5. Bomb Squad Protects County for Nearly Four Decades 

Bomb Squad

Members of the St. Charles County Bomb Squad. From left to right: Officer Jeff Spain, Officer Aaron Kirkpatrick, Det. Brian Reimer, Sgt. David Cathey, and Det. Dustin Lang.

For 37 years, the St. Charles County Bomb Squad has been an integral part of helping law enforcement agencies throughout the county keep citizens safe. A bomb planted at a local grocery store in 1982 led to its formation.

“Thieves placed a bomb in the Harvester Schnucks to distract law enforcement while they committed a bank robbery,” recounts St. Charles County Chief of Police David Todd. “Former Sheriff Uebinger was concerned by the response time for a bomb disposal unit from outside the county to arrive. Fortunately, the bomb did not detonate and no one was hurt, but he decided it was time to have our own squad.”

The Bomb Squad started under the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department and was moved to the St. Charles County Police Department (SCCPD) after its formation in 2015. Today, the FBI-certified squad is comprised of five officers.

“We usually have 20 to 25 deployments per year,” explains Sergeant David Cathey, Commander of the Bomb Squad and Assistant Commander of the Specialized Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) team. “We handle a variety of incidents and events, from a major bomb scare that might occur to highway sweeps during a presidential visit to helping citizens dispose of old ammunition and explosives.”

Bomb Squad officers are Certified Hazardous Materials Technicians and participate in weekly and monthly trainings internally and with local, regional and federal law enforcement agencies. Two officers, Detective Brian Reimer and Officer Aaron Kirkpatrick, attended the FBI’s Hazardous Device School (HDS) to become Certified Bomb Technicians, and regularly teach and train other members of the squad. They are two of 50 Certified Bomb Technicians in Missouri and 3,000 nationwide. Officer Jeff Spain and Detective Justin Lang are scheduled to attend HDS in 2020.

“Every officer who attends HDS is trained to the same standards and in the same way,” Det. Reimer says. “Our certification allows us to be deputized as U.S. Marshalls and assist the FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and any bomb disposal unit in the country.”

The Bomb Squad is part of the SCCPD’s Bureau of Special Enforcement, Division of Special Operations. The SCCPD is supported by sales tax dollars through the County’s General Fund. A federal Department of Homeland Security grant provides funding for Bomb Squad equipment and training.


On SCCMO-TV in December...


Click on the images below, visit the SCCMO-TV YouTube channeltv.sccmo.org, or download our Roku Channel (search for SCCMO-TV) to watch recent County Council meetings, hear the latest local news and helpful information on County News Updates, see what's happening in County Parks, and more. Be sure to check out the latest County News Update on the Santa Cops holiday giving program.

To view agendas and minutes from Council meetings, visit sccmo.org.

County News Update
County Council Meetings
Santa Cops

County Executive Steve Ehlmann

A Look Back with the County Executive


St. Charles County experienced significant social developments during World War II. More women joined the workforce, secular community organizations increased in popularity, and attitudes toward race and religion began to change. Citizens moved forward while grieving the loss of their family, neighbors and friends in the war. This month in the last of a two-part series, we’ll continue to examine the impact World War II had on our community...MORE                 


Council Comments

Councilman Dave Hammond

Dave Hammond, District 4

Your County Council thoroughly reviewed, discussed and then passed a budget for 2020 that was presented to us by the County Executive and his staff. It is one of the tightest County Government has ever seen.
 
After a year of economic growth and low unemployment, why is this the case? It’s because local governments are unable to collect sales tax from all online purchases. This isn’t a situation unique to St. Charles County, but that doesn’t make it any easier for us...MORE




Calendar

Calendar, Reminders and Directory

  • Happy Holidays! County Government offices will be closed Tuesday, Dec. 24, and Wednesday, Dec. 25, for Christmas and Wednesday, Jan. 1, for New Year's Day.

  • Tax bills for 2019 are due Dec. 31 to the Collector of Revenue. Please consider helping local agencies that serve homeless and indigent citizens by donating $1, $5 or $10 on your tax bill to Project CARE. Thank you!

  • For more information on County events or meetings, visit our website.

  • To schedule a speaker for your group, visit our Request a Speaker page.

  • Sign up to receive emergency notifications and more through SCCMO AlertMe.

  • View the St. Charles County Government Directory for a listing of departments and contact information.


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