What is the Neighborhood Ownership Model?

In 2009, the citizens of Lafayette Square were fed up with crime in their neighborhood, so they took action. Led by resident Michael Petetit, the citizens of Lafayette Square partnered with law enforcement and the Circuit Attorney’s Office to develop ways to keep their neighborhood safer. As a result, the Neighborhood Ownership Model was born. Just one year after implementing its techniques, Lafayette Square rose from the 27th safest neighborhood to the 9th. Citizen involvement is the most effective crime fighting tool there is.  When the public works with the police, prosecutors and courts, they have more power than all law enforcement agencies combines.  In fact, when we have citizen support, our conviction rate is nearly 100%.  

Criminals target areas where they don’t think they will get caught. Neighborhoods that do not have involved citizens are at greater risk for crime. The Neighborhood Ownership Model, or NOM, helps address this by giving citizens the tools they need to develop an organized crime-fighting structure. When neighborhoods start the NOM, they have the complete support of both the Circuit Attorney’s Office and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Citizens receive specialized training in different subjects, such as how to conduct a citizens patrol or write a victim impact statement.

The NOM is a way for citizens to get involved to lower crime in their neighborhood. The NOM is a comprehensive plan that helps citizens take control of their neighborhoods. Although each neighborhood has its own unique challenges and issues, the NOM has three general categories:

  • Citizens-based Solutions including citizen’s patrols, neighborhood safety boards, and neighborhood planning teams.
  • Government Partnerships including Neighborhood Orders of Protection, dedicated neighborhood liason officers, and victim impact statements.
  • Technology-based Solutions including cameras, crime alert emails, and phone chains.

Since the NOM is 100% customizable, each neighborhood can choose which methods work best for them.

Since 2009, Michael Petetit and his group in Lafayette Square have worked with several other neighborhoods to guide them through the process of starting the NOM in their neighborhood. To date, there are 12 neighborhoods that have implemented the NOM including Dutchtown, Bevo Mill, and Shaw. Since starting the NOM, crime in Dutchtown is down 18%. There are 16 neighborhoods planning to start the NOM this year. If you’re interested in learning more about the Neighborhood Ownership Model, or to request a comprehensive copy, call the Circuit Attorney’s Office at 314-622-4941.