ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County police connected with the south county community Monday night in the first town hall in two years since the pandemic.

Officers addressed crime trends and how police can better serve the public. But, the bigger purpose of the night was to hear from the community and answer questions. 

“It was our chance to get back out in the community and give them some information that they were looking for and that they did not know,” said St. Louis County police Capt. Guy Means with District 3. “Two years of COVID, no one really knew what was going on. We did everything virtual.”

Detectives, lieutenants, and Police Chief Kenneth Gregory were in attendance. The department talked about the crime rate decreasing in the last several months. However, the types of crimes they have seen the most are car and home break-ins.

“People get home. They get comfortable. They’re watching TV. They might be getting ready for tomorrow for work, and then they forget about the garage being open. It’s an issue,” Means said.

He said he has instructed officers to knock on the doors of homes if they see a garage or door open.

“I don’t think I’d like to knock on the door though at 2 in the morning. But it’s better than having someone else come in and burglarize your house,” said south county resident Kathleen Luepke.

“People need to understand that they need to take their own responsibility of their own home and make sure that their doors are locked and that their garages are closed,” said resident Dale Flanakin.

Officers also used the opportunity to explain how they investigate crimes, and how the public can report and monitor crimes in their neighborhood. 

“The people in this community are so pro-police. We’re so happy with the officers that we have. There’s just a really good collaboration between the police and the community,” Luepke said.

The department also said bids will soon go out for the construction of a brand-new precinct. Means also says tonight went so well, that there will be more of these town halls in the future.