There’s nothing more frustrating for an officer than to see somebody in need and you can’t help. It’s frustrating because you leave empty. You go back home and they’re going to be in the same situation. You start to worry about people. You start to care about people. And it’s like, ‘How can I do more?’ There is a lot of need in the city of St. Louis that isn’t being met. People in impoverished communities are trapped and they can’t get out. There’s crime that’s surrounding them and a lot of people don’t know where to turn. As an officer, we’re constantly looking for resources. ‘How can I pour resources into the people that need them?’ A lot of criminal issues start out as social issues, then they become criminal issues because the social issues are never solved like poverty, hunger, lack of health care, lack of education, and the things that communities are missing that are so vital to closing the gap, so vital to success, and it transcends generations and generations and generations. You get second and third generations of poverty that have adapted to a way of life that isn’t a norm for some people and we have to help them create a new normal.
Our communities are only as strong as our people. And our people—our families, friends, and neighbors—are strong when they have access to the food, shelter, health care, and economic support they need to lead healthy lives. This is true no matter who you are or where you live. When we look out for one another, we all see #TheNetBenefit. Learn more about the safety net in Missouri.