ST. LOUIS – Soulard has been the center of attention with Mardi Gras festivities. More than two weeks ago, it was in the public eye after two officers were shot in the neighborhood.
Resident Elizabeth Hawkins contacted FOX 2 with a concern about decorative lights, and how they’re ineffective as a crime deterrent. Her street boarders a park in Soulard.
Hawkins says the decorative lights in the park are the only lights on her street, and the neighborhood is way too dark when nightfall comes.
“Well, we’ve lived in Soulard since 2006, we’ve been in this home since 2015, and we’ve always had a concern on this street that we have no streetlights. So, it’s always dark. I park my car in the street, I come home. It’s been a little scary to get out of the car over the last years,” she said.
“It’s gotten a little bit more concerning because we’ve had an armed carjacking, we’ve had someone come up to the house with a gun. And there’s more crime that’s happening. I know lights aren’t going to solve that problem, but at least it gives me a little bit of comfort when you get out of the car.”
She says she’s talked to the neighborhood organization, as well as to Alderman John Coatar (Ward 7) about the issue, but nothing has happened.
FOX 2 reached out to Luke Reynolds, the chairman of Soulard’s Special Business District. He also thinks the neighborhood needs more streetlights.
“I think it would probably be a very good thing for the neighborhood. Yeah, absolutely, we’d love to see that,” he said.
His group shares information from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department about crime in Soulard.
Soulard crime data, from 2020 and 2021
Hawkins says with something must be done, and soon.
“Well, it kind of makes me feel like they don’t care about my personal safety, and I probably would feel better if I saw action somewhere else,” she said. “If I was like, they’re taking care of the big problems; they’re getting guns off the street, they’re getting kids educated, they’re prosecuting criminals, I would probably let the lights go. But those things aren’t happening, either. So, I’m like, if you can’t do that, at least let’s get some lights.”