Welcome to the city of St Joseph's weekly digital newsletter. City Link is your source for timely and relevant information from your local government.
Thursday, February 11, 2021
Face Covering Mandate Extended

In a continued effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, City Council has extended the Declaration and Order regarding face coverings and masks through April 15, 2021, during the Monday, February 8, City Council meeting. For more information, read the full Declaration and Order.

Also, during the same City Council meeting, council voted to return to holding meetings in person. The following guidelines and/or restrictions will be in place for those in attendance:
  • All in attendance are required to wear a face covering or mask. Some exemptions apply.
  • Seating will be limited in the Council Chamber as social distancing will be enforced. Additional viewing areas will be available.
Silent Contribution

Many times, donations to organizations are celebrated enthusiastically by both the donor and recipient in a public way. Other times, the donor prefers to quietly provide a benefit to a cause they feel passionate about. Both styles of philanthropy are welcome and celebrated by the beneficiary, especially if the recipient relies heavily on private donations to survive. The St. Joseph Parks, Recreation & Civic Facilities Department, even though it is not heavily dependent on private donations, benefits from the dedication and passion one family has for the department, especially one aspect of the department. 

For many years, William and Barbara Leaverton lived adjacent to the St. Joseph parkway system and developed a love for it. They valued the history and beauty it provided to their hometown. Several years after William died, Barbara developed the Leaverton Trust to provide funding for things important to the Leaverton family and the city. Barbara died in 2003, but before she died, she initiated an effort for the Leaverton Trust to begin providing funds to the St. Joseph Parks Department specifically to be used for maintenance of the parkway system and associated parks. That effort became a reality in 2007, when the trust began donating an annual amount which averaged nearly $70,000 per year and totaled over $1 million over the past 15 years. 

The interest and ardor of the Leaverton family for the parks and parkway system fuels a valuable relationship which benefits thousands of citizens and visitors of the community and is worth much more than the face value of $70,000.
Cold Weather Safety

In cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can produce, which can lead to serious health problems. With forecasted wind chills well below zero in the coming days, it’s best to stay indoors during extreme cold. However, if you do have to head outdoors, make sure to be prepared.

Dressing properly is key during extreme temperatures. Make sure you are wearing a hat, scarf or knit mask that covers up your face and mouth as well as mittens or gloves. Also, wear a water-resistant coat, several layers of loose-fitting clothing and water-resistant boots. If you don’t dress properly for the conditions, you could be at risk for hypothermia or frostbite.

Hypothermia often occurs at very cold temperatures if a person is wet from rain, sweat or cold water and becomes chilled. Signs of hypothermia in adults include shivering, exhaustion, confusion or memory loss, fumbling hands, slurred speech and drowsiness. Signs in infants include bright red, cold skin and very low energy.

Frostbite victims are often unaware they have frostbite as the frozen tissue is numb. Signs and symptoms include redness or pain on the skin, white or grayish-yellow skin areas, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy and numbness. Since the skin may be numb, victims of frostbite can harm themselves further. Do not walk on feet or toes with frostbite or rub the areas of frostbite. Also, do not use a fireplace, space heater, electric blanket or other heating source for warming.

If a person is experiencing hypothermia or frostbite, first seek medical attention as soon as possible. Next, get them into a warm room or shelter and remove any wet clothing. Warm them up under dry layers of blankets and clothing. If the person has been affected by frostbite, place the affected area in warm-to-touch water. 
The Value of Partnerships

The mission of the St. Joseph Police Department is “Protection and service through partnership with the community.” Partnerships are a center point for success in law enforcement. We rely on many partnerships between criminal justice agencies including federal, state and local law enforcement as well as the attorney general and our prosecutors’ offices. Over time, we have seen successful operations involving air support, human trafficking and the prosecution of career criminal organizations.

When we refer to partnerships, it is more than the relationships within the criminal justice community. Our success is also linked to our partnerships in the community outside law enforcement. As we continue to adjust to changes in the policing environment, we will need to rely more on partnerships in delivering services which improves the quality of life and impacts crime causation.

In 2019, we partnered with Family Guidance embedding a Family Guidance-Mental Health Liaison in the police department. With the success of this initiative, we are continuing to work together to add a second position addressing mental illness at its core with mental health professionals which can be available on the street. 

Other partnerships include the homeless referral program with Interserv. To better address the needs of homeless individuals in our community, we are piloting a referral program for homeless individuals. If an officer encounters a homeless person who does not need to be arrested, but is in need of assistance, agency staff who do homeless outreach will receive a referral. We are also working with Community Action Partnership to complement this program with an outreach worker who will provide a proactive response to homeless and those who appear in need of assistance. Our hope is that through these initiatives, there are better outcomes leading to fewer interactions with police in the future.

Other agency partnerships include, but are not limited to, the YWCA, Breaking Chains and the United Way. These are just a few examples of partnerships improving quality of life and improving delivery of services.
Presidents' Day

In observance of Presidents' Day, February 15, city offices will be closed with the exception of:
  • REC Center - 7am-10pm
  • Landfill - 7am-2pm

City buses will be in service.
(816) 271-5300