Webster Groves residents Virginia Douglas and Rayneese Jones arrived at Tuesday's meeting of the Webster Groves City Council to discuss one thing—public safety.
Douglas and Jones addressed the council separately to ask councilors to take action in Ivory Crockett Park at Bell and Almentor Avenues.
On July 6, police arrived at the 800 block of Bell Avenue in response to reports of gunfire. Upon investigation, police found spent shell casings, but no injuries were reported.
The incident involved 20-25 males, according to witnesses. Police have struggled to make substantial gains in the investigation, although it is still active.
Douglas, who is a 50-year resident of Webster, said the quality of the park is at it's worse ever.
"People, not even from Webster, people come to drink and gamble, and there are drugs," Douglas said. "But our kids can't even use this park because they are scared, and we pay for it."
City Manager Steven Wylie said he was working actively with the Webster Groves Police Department to increase the patrols in the park. One police department official said that it is not uncommon for officers to devote an entire 5-hour shift to the park alone.
"We, the council and I, are more than aware of the problems in that area," Mayor Gerry Welch said. "I appreciate you coming in, and I'd like you to know that is something we are watching closely."
Editor's Note: The original version of this article incorrectly referred to Ivory Crockett Park as Crocker Park. Thank you to our readers for bringing the error to our attention.