ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Tower Grove South is seeking donations to keep police in the neighborhood: “There's a police substation over there,” said Reic Hancock, pointing toward the old brownstone just next door.
He lives on the 3600 block of Bamberger. It’s a section of the Tower Grove South Neighborhood in St. Louis known as the “Wedge”.
Before police took over the house on the corner last November, neighbors were afraid to walk outside.
“It was like you didn't want to take out the trash, you didn't want to invite people over because you never know what you're going to walk out your door and see,” said one man who lives four doors down, Bert Rhodes.
It was one of the most notorious drug houses in the area. According to the Tower Grove Neighborhoods Community Development Corporation, TGNCDC, there were 117 emergency calls for service over 3 years including 4 shots fired calls In less than a month.
According to TGNCDC’s website, “Residents of the area reported eye-witness accounts of drug dealing, violence, and criminal behavior centering around the building and involving over 40 different individuals who were living in or had access to the apartments.”
“They would sit right here, crowded here like the mob, right here on your front porch,” said one neighbor, Ron Brown.
In order to keep it open, and keep the riff-raff out, TGNCDC is asking for donations.
The yearly cost to operate the substation is $8,000, which includes utilities, insurance, Static IP internet, mortgage, computers, hygiene/cleaning supplies and maintenance.
“We pushed so hard to get it there that now we have this security blanket, we’re going to do everything we can to keep it,” Rhodes said.
To start, they are hosting an open house at the police substation on Saturday, March 5th from 10a.m. to 1p.m.
For more information on the open house, or how you can donate, click here.