Sep 01

Back to School with School Resource Officers

Posted on September 1, 2023 at 1:45 PM by Bryanna Hartmann

Every year at this time, I find myself reflecting on the years I had the privilege of teaching and coaching and am grateful for the excitement of the new school year that lingers, even in retirement. As an educator, there’s nothing like the rush of welcoming new students in the classroom and aiming to help them succeed over the course of their time in your class.

One of the things I have been pleased with as a councilman is the priority we have placed on keeping our students, teachers and school administrators safe at school. Our School Resource Officers (SROs) have been a key component of that, and while they have been active in many St. Charles County schools for several years, we were able to allocate American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to place 23 of our County Police Department officers in all the schools in unincorporated County through this next school year.

Why SROs? They provide a uniformed presence if action is needed against an intruder or any acts of violence. They are trained in de-escalating situations, and the fact that they are on their school’s campus every day means they are not a stranger to students and staff and can identify when something is out of the norm that may be of concern. SROs are there to protect, but also to build relationships.

I am grateful for our SROs and the opportunities they bring to the classroom. The START program (START stands for Substance Tobacco Alcohol Resistance Training) is especially for fifth and sixth grade students, and it’s a special nine-week curriculum our police department tailored to focus on the issues our students face at this age in our area: not just substance and alcohol abuse, but topics such as peer pressure, bullying and digital citizenship as well.

For all our students, SROs interact in the hallways and at lunch and recess, allowing the officers to engage with students and build trust if a student finds they need to share something difficult and important with an adult.

As a former teacher, this connection with students is one of the most vital to offer: To provide a safe, encouraging space to learn, grow and excel. We all have the duty to participate and do what we can to foster that environment. I am glad we have our SROs who can be a positive impact for our schools and hope we can continue to find ways to do that in the future.

Feb 02

An Update on Construction at I-70 and Cave Springs and Zumbehl

Posted on February 2, 2023 at 1:45 PM by County Council

If you’ve driven on I-70 in the St. Charles area in the last several months, I’m sure you’ve noticed the ongoing construction at and leading up to the Zumbehl and Cave Springs roads exits. While the frustrations of driving through construction traffic are likely your first thought when passing through these areas, I hope to encourage you about the improvements this construction will bring once the projects are complete!

The bridges at Cave Springs and Zumbehl are just pieces of the bigger picture: Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT)’s I-70 Cave Springs to Fairgrounds Design-Build Project aims to enhance connectivity, improve safety, and provide much needed updates to this corridor. These interchanges have a higher than average crash rate, at two crashes per day on average between 2013 and 2017. Traffic jams flowing from outer roads and the interstate cause congestion, especially during rush hours. The existing infrastructure has been quickly outgrown by the number of businesses and residential areas located in this corridor, and the stretch of Cave Springs to Fairgrounds roads needs to meet the success of that.

MoDOT is expected to complete the first half of both these bridges in the spring, with traffic switching over to the new bridges this summer. The old bridges will then be demolished, making room for the second half of each to be built. You can track ongoing progress on the project website, and follow MoDOT on social media for construction updates impacting travel.

A lot of our residents and businesses have wondered what the traffic flow at these bridges will look like. These are designed to be Single Point Urban Interchanges (SPUI), similar to what you see at I-70 and First Capitol/Route 94. MoDOT is targeting the new interchanges to be in place by the beginning of 2024, with full completion of the project by June 2024.

Please take extra care while driving through these construction zones and be alert for lane closures and changes to traffic flow. I hope you enjoy viewing the progress as we get closer to project completion!

Aug 03

Be Ready with SCCMO AlertMe

Posted on August 3, 2022 at 2:31 PM by County Council

I was reminded recently about a program I signed up for with St. Charles County that is a great service for the community. It’s called SCCMO AlertMe, and it’s free to anyone who wants to subscribe.

AlertMe is a mass notification system that simultaneously broadcasts real-time alerts and information to large numbers of individuals. The primary function of mass notification systems is to quickly alert people to potential threats or emergency situations and direct them how to respond to those situations.

A recent alert was about a missing person reported to the County Police Department, but subscribers also have received them for County Highway road construction and closures. They can sign up to receive notifications from Emergency Management and Public Health as well.

Citizen safety is a top concern of your government officials, and we want to make certain you can be alerted to potential dangers or construction delays. That’s why we started the program with Everbridge, one of the leaders in mass notification systems.

The Everbridge system has other capabilities as well. For instance, the County was able to utilize the system during the COVID-19 pandemic by using it to register residents who wanted to know about vaccine availability, and to remind them of their scheduled appointments. It is also used to advise employees about building closures during inclement weather, and other emergency messages that need to reach employees quickly.

I encourage you to sign up if you haven’t already. As I said, it’s free, and it’s easy! For more information or to register, visit