September 2018 Connection Header

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

1. County Debuts New Emergency Operations Center

EOC ribbon cutting

After more than five years of visits to other facilities, planning, designing and constructing, the new St. Charles County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is move-in ready. A ribbon cutting (pictured above) and open house for the EOC was held on Wednesday, Sept. 5,for first responders, County and local elected officials, and community leaders. Watch our County News Update.

“We will begin moving equipment and staff in soon,” says County Executive Steve Ehlmann. “More than 40 employees will operate out of this facility daily, with the capacity to hold many more in the event of an emergency or disaster. This is a much-needed facility that will bring all of the County’s emergency services together for a more coordinated and efficient response.” 

The 30,000-square-foot, $24 million facility is strategically located adjacent to the St. Charles County Police Department in O’Fallon. It will house all the County’s emergency functions previously located in different areas of the county, including the:

  • Department of Emergency Communications – Provides dispatching services for all fire and EMS agencies within St. Charles County, as well as the County Police Department, Sheriff’s Department, and Park Rangers, and maintains and supports both the County’s Next Generation 911 system and digital P25 radio system.

  • Division of Emergency Management – Promotes unified planning and coordination of disaster preparedness, response and recovery, and coordinates with local municipalities, neighboring jurisdictions and state and federal agencies during emergency activations.

  • Information Systems Data Center – Supports technology for all PCs, telephones, security and video located in the EOC, and will support the County’s overall technology infrastructure needs in the future.

The EOC is where planning and coordination of disaster preparedness, response and recovery takes place; where staff answer and process 911 calls around the clock; and is the hub for data technology. Bringing these services together in one building during an emergency makes our community a safer place. The facility can withstand an EF-4 tornado and remain fully operational without electricity, water or sewer for three days. Staff are expected to fully move into the building later this year.

Read more about the EOC, and check it out for yourself during the St. Charles County Police Department Open House on Sept. 22 - see story #4 for more information!


2. Detective Receives National Award

County Police Patch and NCMEC Logo

BRAVO! St. Charles County Police (SCCPD) Detective Jared Queen is a recipient of a 2018 HERO Award from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Every year, NCMEC celebrates law enforcement heroes who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to recover a missing or exploited child. The public votes for nominees to receive the award. Det. Queen and FBI Special Agent Nikki Badolato were nominated for their notable investigative work that led to the rescue of multiple child sex trafficking victims who were being sold on the website Backpage. Det. Queen and other honorees will be recognized on Thursday, Sept. 20, at Nationals Park in Washington D.C.

Det. Queen thanked all who supported him by posting a message on the SCCPD's Facebook page.

NCMEC's mission is to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization. Since 1984, the organization has served as the national clearinghouse and resource center for families, victims, private organizations, law enforcement and the public on issues relating to missing and sexually exploited children.


3. Lawsuit Filed Against Drug Manufacturers, Distributors 

Prescription Drugs

St. Charles County has filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical manufacturers and drug distributors for their aggressive and fraudulent marketing of prescription opioid painkillers that has led to a drug epidemic throughout our County and nationwide. The lawsuit seeks to hold the defendants responsible for what many are calling the worst man-made epidemic in modern medical history.
 
“There has been both a human and financial cost to this epidemic,” says County Executive Steve Ehlmann. “I think just about every family in our county has been affected by this epidemic or knows a family who has been.” Aside from the human cost, Ehlmann says, “St. Charles County taxpayers have experienced costs and losses directly related to the actions of these drug companies. The opioid crisis has reshaped the daily reality in our county in numerous ways, putting a greater demand on law enforcement, health services, corrections and the courts. County government also has expended dollars on community education programs and programs to treat those with opioid-related addiction.”
 
In the complaint, the County seeks relief that includes compensatory and punitive damages for the millions of dollars it spends each year to combat the public nuisance created by the drug companies’ deceptive marketing campaign that misrepresented the safety and efficacy of long-term opioid use. St. Charles County was the first in the St. Louis region to train its police, sheriff’s deputies and correctional officers to administer Naloxone (Narcan) and is seeking to recover those costs as well.

According to the Bureau of Vital Statistics, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, St. Charles County had 301 deaths due to opioid overdoses from 2013-2017. Missouri is one of the 20 worst states for drug overdose deaths.


4. Annual Police Open House Set for Sept. 22

PD Open House

After making much-needed renovations to their headquarters, SCCPD is back this year with its annual Open House! This popular event is free to the public and will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 101 Sheriff Dierker Court in O’Fallon.

Guests are invited to participate in behind-the-scenes tours (including the new Emergency Operations Center!) technology demonstrations, and safety presentations, as well as see the department’s K9s, a SCCPD vehicle and equipment gallery and special mascot guests. There will be giveaways, a St. Charles City-County Pop-Up Library, a Kona Ice benefit for The Backstoppers, and more! For updates and more information, check out the department’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Also, make sure you don't miss these ways to connect with the SCCPD:

  • Remember to register for the September #SCCMore Speaker Series, “Making Public Safety Personal.” This FREE program will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18, at the McClay Branch of the St. Charles City-County Library District. Colonel David Todd, Chief of the St. Charles County Police Department, will cover a variety of topics regarding public safety and emergency procedures. He will answer questions after the presentation. You won’t want to miss this important, educational discussion!
  • To provide valuable information and promote community dialogue, the department and other area law enforcement agencies have teamed up for a 12-month Multi-Jurisdictional Public Safety Campaign. Safety tips will be shared via social media and video public service announcements aiming at educating the public about public safety issues. The first posts started in August. Watch the SCCPD's social media pages listed above for messages and be sure to share with your networks!

5. Citizens Invited to Provide Master Plan Feedback Oct. 10

Looking at the future

It’s no secret that St. Charles County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state. By 2030, 74,000 new residents and 45,000 new jobs are expected to be a part of the community. How this growth will be accommodated is embodied in St. Charles County Government's Master Plan.

As provided by County Charter, the Master Plan is a coordinated set of recommendations to achieve desired outcomes for jobs, housing, transportation, community facilities, land uses, and the natural environment. Appointed by County Executive Steve Ehlmann and the County Council, a Master Plan Steering Committee has begun meeting to discuss what adjustments to the 2025 Plan, adopted in 2013, may be warranted.

The public is invited to a 2030 Master Plan Open House to review and comment on the committee’s anticipated draft findings and recommendations. This open house will be held 4 to 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10, in the Community Commons at the St. Charles City-County Library Spencer Road Branch, 427 Spencer Road, St. Peters. After the open house, the committee’s recommendations will be posted on the County’s website and public comments will be taken via email until Nov. 1.

The Steering Committee anticipates sending a draft 2030 Master Plan to the County Planning and Zoning Commission for review and a public hearing in December 2018. The Commission will recommend to the County Council whether to adopt the 2030 County Master Plan. 




On SCCMO-TV in September...


Click on the images below, or visit the SCCMO-TV YouTube channel or tv.sccmo.org, 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! 

Also, learn more about how road construction projects are accomplished and funded in St. Charles County in the latest edition of Making $en$e!

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


Council Meeting Graphic
County News Update
Making Sense

County Executive Steve Ehlmann

Looking Back with the County Executive


Fall is fast approaching, and that means it's time to attend local high school football and basketball games. I played both sports and later coached basketball at St. Charles High School, so this time of year holds great memories. The history of these sports is featured in the exhibit, “Root for the Home Team! The History of High School Athletics in St. Charles County” at the Heritage Museum. It is part of a larger exhibit titled “Our Sporting Heritage,” which celebrates recreation by showcasing the history of hunting, fishing, and sports in St. Charles County.

In my May blog, I covered the history of high school baseball in our community as a preview to the exhibit. This month, here’s a look at high school football and basketball...MORE                  


Council Comments

Joe Brazil

Joe Brazil, District 2

Most Council member blogs share information about programs, services and events in St. Charles County. This one is a little different – it’s to let you know about an upcoming project on which I need assistance from YOU. As the representative for District 2 in the southwest part of the county, I’d like to hear not only from my constituents but everyone who wishes to weigh in about County ordinances and the services provided by St. Charles County Government...MORE




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