Local public safety campaign

Safety first

Law enforcement agencies from St. Charles County and Troy are working together on huge public safety campaign

By Brett Auten

Law enforcement agencies from St. Charles County and Troy are introducing an all-new, 12-month public safety campaign to the community this month. The campaign consists of social media and video public service announcements, and cover various topics. 

The goal of this multi-jurisdictional public safety campaign is to keep residents safe and informed and to make the public crime smart. Although topics range from school bus safety to domestic violence to water/pool safety, police receive many calls for service and inquiries related to the selected issues. 

“It is our goal to educate the community, so residents and business owners are aware of the applicable laws, safety measures and other ways to help keep their family, home and neighborhood secure,” Val Joyner, Public Affairs Officer and Cultural Liaison with the St. Charles County Police Department, said. 

Public safety messages will be distributed simultaneously on each department’s social media pages and through use of video PSAs. Each department will be responsible for a specific month.

“Frequently, these individual communities share the same problems, and we share the same bad guys,” St. Charles County Police Chief David Todd said. “We share a lot of the same resources, and we work so well together it only made sense to align our message.”

Todd said that an informed resident is a safe resident and is encouraging those who are on social media to share the information with those who are not.

“A lot of our older residents do not do social media, so we’re asking that you reach out and share with your neighbor,” Todd said. “We will be putting out as much as we can, and at the end of the day it’s about the public we serve.”

With social media being a powerful platform for public service professions, such as law enforcement, according to Melissa Doss, Community/Media Relations for the St. Peters Police Department, it is essential that the campaign not only discusses topics which universally affect the county, but the information is interesting enough to get – and keep – residents’ attention. 

“Our primary goal is to provide valuable information to the residents of St. Charles County to hopefully educate and promote dialogue,” Doss said. “If information from our campaign reaches outside of our county, it is an even bigger win for us.  We are attempting to be creative and to the point with each campaign to reach as many people as possible.”

Wentzville Police Chief Kurt Frisz said that having a consistent message coming for all of the agencies involved and having that message projected from each social media accountant will reach an enormous audience. 

“I know we have something like 16,000 followers on Facebook while O’Fallon and others have a little more,” Frisz said. “So we are talking tens of thousands of people we are reaching instantly and quickly. This is a good, sound approach to sharing information on public safety.”

To some, a specific month’s message may seem basic, but it’s the little mistakes that can go from mishap to tragic.

“It is good to put out information about school bus laws because people have been on summer vacation and have not seen school buses for a while,” Frisz said. “It may seem like common sense, but people need, and I think the vast majority of the public appreciate it. We deal with people all the time that need reminding.”

Participating agencies include: Cottleville Police Department, Lake St. Louis Police Department, O’Fallon Police Department, St. Charles Police Department St. Charles County Police Department, St. Peters Police Department, Troy Police Department and Wentzville Police Department.

 

CUTLINE: Images courtesy O’Fallon Police Department