Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tower Grove Residents Tell Police: We"ll Pitch in to Fight Crime

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tower Grove Residents Tell Police: We"ll Pitch in to Fight Crime

Article excerpt

Some residents who live near the area where two undercover police officers were wounded Wednesday during a drug raid are vowing to help police in the war on neighborhood crime.

"We have to realize that this is everybody's problem. You just can't keep moving," said Steve Koehler, a five-year resident of the area, near Tower Grove Park.

Koehler was among about 60 people who attended a meeting Friday night of the Parkside Neighborhood Organization. The group called the meeting to get an update from police on the investigation into the shooting of the officers.

The residents also wanted to know what they could do to help police curb some of the criminal activity in the neighborhood.

Officer Scott Collier, 32, was shot six times and Officer Edward Halveland, 36, was shot once in the abdomen when they participated in a botched raid Wednesday night on a suspected drug house in the 3100 block of Alfred Avenue.

Police said Thursday that the officers might have shot each other, or they might have been wounded by other police officers during the raid.

John Berendzen, vice president of the neighborhood group, said the organization had worked with police to control crime in the neighborhood. The group also has a civilian patrol unit.

"No matter how these guys got hurt, we owe them a debt of gratitude," Berendzen said. "These are fantastic guys."

The investigation into the shooting has been stalled because the injured men were unable to give statements, police said Friday.

"We're going to look at this, but there's really no update because of the fact that we can't yet talk to the two officers who were wounded," said Lt. Col. Ronald Henderson.

Police Chief Clarence Harmon and other senior officers remained tight-lipped about the raid.

Henderson said Harmon had asked for a report on whether procedures for nighttime drug raids needed to be revised or whether the current procedures were not followed properly. …

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