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

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

1. County Police Battle the Opioid Epidemic

Opioids
The St. Charles County Police Department plays a key role in the fight against opioid abuse in our community. Officers see the devastating effect of the epidemic firsthand because they are often first on the scene when an overdose occurs. In 2015, the department became the first law enforcement agency in the county and in the St. Louis metropolitan area to train and authorize officers to carry and administer NARCAN®, an opioid and heroin overdose reversal drug. All commissioned officers are trained to administer NARCAN® and officers carry the medication on their duty belts. Because Fentanyl can be so potent and exposure can be life-threatening, NARCAN® also is available for staff in the St. Charles County Criminalistics Laboratory and for the department’s five canines in the event of exposure during analysis and searches.
 
“Every second counts in an overdose situation, so our officers need to be able to act immediately,” explains St. Charles County Police Chief David Todd. “Each time NARCAN® is administered, we hope the treatment encourages drug abusers to seek help, change their lives, reverse the epidemic, and improve our community.”

From November 2015 to September 2019, officers administered 84 units of NARCAN®. Some overdose calls for service require officers to administer at least two units in order to revive the individual, depleting their supply. The department budgeted $7,000 for 2019 to purchase NARCAN® rescue kits. Kits are purchased through the General Fund, the principal operating fund of St. Charles County Government that supports the department and is funded by sales tax dollars. This cost is in addition to expenditures for additional patrolling and overtime due to more opioid-related crime.
 
Beyond the Police Department, the epidemic has affected County operations through an increased number of opioid-related calls for assistance to 911, a rising County jail population, and a higher number of drug-related cases in the St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney’s office. In August 2018, St. Charles County filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical manufacturers and drug distributors on behalf of taxpayers to recoup money spent on additional expenditures caused by the opioid epidemic.

2. Corrections Hosts Regional Crisis Intervention Training

Corrections Staff Training

The St. Charles County Department of Corrections hosted a five-day, 40-hour U.S. Department of Justice National Institute of Corrections training program for 35 correctional employees from St. Charles, St. Louis and Jefferson counties and St. Louis City.

According to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), there are more individuals incarcerated with mental illnesses than in any of the mental health facilities in the country.

“And it’s not just happening everywhere else. It’s here – in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area,” adds Dan Keen, Director of the St. Charles County Department of Corrections.

In response to this challenge, 16 officers from the Corrections Department recently participated in a DOJ Crisis Intervention Training program. They graduated with skills to help them more effectively communicate with and manage individuals in custody suffering from mental illness or mental health issues.

“These skills are needed more and more frequently. On average, the mental health team at the jail visits with 565 inmates each month,” Keen explains. “Since January, 281 inmates have been on suicide watch and 34 percent of the current population is on psychotropic medication.”

Recognizing the importance of facing this challenge head on, St. Charles County also recently hosted the DOJ’s National Institute of Corrections (NIC) training program, inviting corrections personnel from St. Louis City, St. Louis County and Jefferson County to join its employees in the training. The five-day, 40-hour course focuses on teaching how to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness, understanding medications and special populations, the importance of connecting with families of inmates, active listening skills, and de-escalation techniques.

“We need to be proactive in our training so we can meet the needs of these individuals and their families,” Keen says. “Knowing their needs is the first step to helping them get out of prison and the appropriate care they need in the community. In addition to not always getting them the help they need, keeping them in prison is costly to taxpayers and creates behavioral management issues for staff.”

Like the Police Department, the Department of Corrections is primarily supported by the County’s General Fund.

3. Volunteer Participants Needed for Health Exercise Oct. 10

Public Health Exercise

The St. Charles County Department of Public Health regularly tests their capabilities to handle health emergencies—but these exercises will go to another level in October, and YOUR help is needed to make it happen!
 
The department will participate in “Star-Spangled Fright,” a regional bioterrorism response exercise with events planned Oct. 1-10. Volunteer participants from the community are needed to serve as patients seeking medication and resources during an Emergency Response Distribution drill, the final event of the exercise, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 10, at St. Charles West High School, 3601 Droste Road in St. Charles. Individuals can pre-register online to participate. As a thank you, the first 200 who register will receive a free Chick-fil-A sandwich, and everyone who completes an event evaluation will be entered to win a gift package courtesy of Martian Car Wash.

The department is one of more than 25 organizations in Missouri and Illinois playing a role in this exercise that tests the ability to deliver medical resources at a Point of Dispensing (POD) site through the federally-coordinated Strategic National Stockpile Program. ”Star Spangled Fright” marks the first time an extended operation will be tested across the St. Louis Metropolitan Area, and is one of the first times an exercise like this been conducted by regionally cooperative health departments in the U.S.
 
“The mock distribution drill and other activities during ‘Star-Spangled Fright’ will help the region become better prepared for all types of emergencies we may face," says Nick Kohlberg, St. Charles County Emergency Response Planner. “We greatly appreciate the support and participation of our partners and area citizens in this effort.”
 
For questions about the exercise, please call 636-949-7554.




4. Boeing Celebrates Milestones, Expansion in County

Boeing St. Charles Milestones Celebration Speakers

Speakers at the Sept. 4 Boeing St. Charles’ Milestones Celebration, from left to right: Major James Powers, 13th Bomb Squadron, Whiteman Air Force Base; Don Blottenberger, Principal Deputy Program Manager, NAVAIR PMA-201, U.S. Navy; Brigadier General Anthony W. Genatempo, PEO for Weapons/Director, Armament Directorate AFLCMC, U.S. Air Force; Steve Ehlmann, St. Charles County Executive; Larry Dobrosky, City of St. Charles Director of Administration; Ann Wagner, U.S. Representative from Missouri; Mike Parson, Governor of Missouri; Norm Tew, Vice President and General Manager, Missile and Weapon Systems, The Boeing Company; and Cindy Gruensfelder, Vice President, Weapons, The Boeing Company.

County Executive Steve Ehlmann joined local and state officials, including U.S. Representative Ann Wagner and Missouri Governor Mike Parson, at a ceremony Sept. 4 at the Foundry Art Centre to recognize Boeing St. Charles’ production site expansion and accomplishments. The aerospace manufacturer is planning a $70 million, 35,000 square-foot expansion for harpoon weapons production set to be complete in 2021. Additional jobs are not expected to be added at this time but the expansion helps position the company for future growth.

“Boeing is one of the largest employers the region, and this development demonstrates their commitment to St. Charles County,” Ehlmann says.

At the ceremony, Boeing also marked the delivery of the 400,000th Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), the 30,000th Laser JDAM, and the 25,000th Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) to U.S. Armed Forces.

5. Save the Date: Veterans Memorial Garden Opening Nov. 11

Veterans Memorial at Veterans Tribute Park

Crews test waterfalls running between panels with names of fallen soldiers during construction of the Veterans Memorial Plaza at Veterans Tribute Park in Weldon Spring.

The final stages of construction for the Veterans Memorial Garden at Veterans Tribute Park, located at 1031 Kisker Road in Weldon Spring, are underway. Overlooking the park’s two lakes, the garden includes a Veterans Memorial Plaza (pictured above) with the names of St. Charles County soldiers who died in service to our nation engraved on stone panels. A Tribute Walk leading up to the memorial will feature interpretive panels covering conflicts from the time St. Charles County was organized in 1812 to present day, along with plantings that bloom or have vibrant color at the end of each war.

From 1 to 3 p.m. on Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11, St. Charles County Government, the St. Charles County Veterans Committee and the St. Charles City Veterans Commission will honor and recognize those who have served with a special ceremony marking the opening of the garden. Speakers will include:

   •  St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann
   •  Lieutenant Colonel Samuel W. Kline, Fort Leonard Wood
 
A patriotic family event will be held after the ceremony, including children’s activities from the St. Charles County Parks Department, St. Charles City-County Library and the St. Charles County Veterans Museum. Guests also can participate in the “Support Our Troops Care Package Drive,” sponsored by the St. Charles County Government Veterans Best Practices Working Group, by bringing an item that day.
 
Created in 1997, the Parks Department is supported through a voter-approved local use tax. Veterans Tribute Park opened in October 2018 and has quickly become one of the most popular parks in the St. Charles County system. Along with the memorial, the park features a destination playground for children of all abilities, a walking and biking trail system, a 3-acre off-leash dog park, reservable shelters, and open play fields.

Visit the Parks Department website and Facebook page for more information as the opening of the Veterans Memorial Garden approaches. Commemorative pavers for the Veterans Memorial Plaza area are still available from the St. Charles County Parks Foundation. For questions, please contact the Parks Department at 636-949-7535. 


On SCCMO-TV in September...


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. Also, hear from local citizens about why they enjoy serving as Election Judges, and learn how you can participate, in the "You Be The Judge" series.

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

County News Update
County Council Meetings
You Be the Judge

County Executive Steve Ehlmann

A Look Back with the County Executive


The 1990s saw significant job and business growth in St. Charles County, especially with technology-oriented companies. By 2000, commercial construction exceeded $70 million. This month, we’ll look at this business development in the 90s in the second part of a series on how the County, municipalities and businesses managed and encouraged prosperity and growth from the 1970s to 2000s...MORE                 


Council Comments

Joe Brazil

Joe Brazil, District 2

On Sept. 9, your County Council sponsored and passed a resolution recognizing and supporting the St. Charles County Police and other police departments, sheriff departments and responders in the St. Louis area. The resolution “calls upon the governing bodies and prosecutors of the St. Louis Region to express their support for the police officers who are daily on their job ‘doing the right thing’ in supporting the safe and law-abiding citizens of their community.” Passing this resolution was important to the entire County Council because officers in our communities need to know they have our support...MORE




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