A good, positive day in the park: no drug deals, no riffraff, no arrests.\u00a0 It was just police making a good-faith effort to mend and better relationships with area residents.\r\nThat was the vibe and mission of Spring Fest in Barrett Brothers Park Saturday at St. Louis Ave. and Goodfellow Blvd. in the Wells-Goodfellow neighborhood.\u00a0 The event was started last year by 5th District Commander Mike Mueller. \r\nPolice officers from the district, as well as Police Chief John Hayden and Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards, mingled with residents, offering up-close interactions with law enforcement\u2019s helicopter, SWAT vehicle, horses and K-9 unit.\u00a0 As you might imagine, the Polar Cops Ice Cream Truck was a big hit, and so were the cops themselves as people got to see the "human side" of those who police their neighborhood. \r\n\u201cWe wanted to interact with the community and show a softer side and show them that we\u2019re people too,\u201d Capt. Mueller said, wearing a short-sleeve civilian shirt and khaki-colored shorts. \r\n\u201cI think they see us as robots when we\u2019re in our uniforms, but this way we all get to know each other on a different level. We have families too,\u201d Mueller said between chats with community members. \r\nHayden said the fest was also effective in helping the department solve crimes because when residents meet police and talk to them they tend to trust them more. \r\n\u201cThese types of relaxed, non-enforcement community efforts really help bridge the gap between the police and residents, and when we ask the community to assist in solving crimes, the likelihood is better,\u201d Hayden said. \r\nNearby resident Nick Barnes, who attended the event with his family, agreed. \r\n\u201cPeople get to interact with officers that they see in the neighborhood, and they respect those officers,\u201d Barnes said.\r\nDajuana Blunt, 26, who had been handed a flier about the event a day earlier from a district cop, said, \u201cNot all police are bad. I want my son to know and understand that.\u201d\r\nShe went on to say that the event really gave back to kids. There were bounce houses, games, free food, ice cream and drinks. Many children wore police badge stickers and fed the police horse. \r\nSeveral community organizations were also on hand with information tables. The Urban League passed out applications for utility bill help, free home repair and weatherization. \r\nCHIPS (Community Heath in Partnership Services), a free clinic, offered information and blood pressure and blood sugar tests. \r\n\u201cThere\u2019s a lot of people walking around with high blood pressure and blood sugar but they don\u2019t have health insurance, and we want to let them know that we're here, so we\u2019re glad that the police department asked us to be a part of it,\u201d said Doria Daniels, project assistant for CHIPS.\r\nAlderman Jeffrey Boyd of the 22nd Ward praised Mueller\u2019s effort. \r\n\u201cHe\u2019s doing real police work, but he\u2019s also doing non-traditional things, and it shows that they want to know the community,\u201d Boyd said. \r\nDeanna Jenkins, the 5th District Community Outreach Officer who does the planning for the Spring Fest, said she would like to see parks all over St. Louis do the same thing, adding that she chose Barrett Brothers Park because her first juvenile murder case was nearby. \r\n\u201cParks need to be used for positive things, not just drug deals and riffraff,\u201d she said.