Meet Isabella Lovadina, the new CWE and FPSE Court Advocate!

In the summer of 2012, WUMC’s Community Development Manager’s Nathan Bishop and Brooks Goedeker were meeting with NSI Director, Jim Whyte to discuss the latest safety and security efforts in the Central West End.  Whyte mentioned that he was having a lot of success following the cases through the court system and presenting impact statements from the Central West End community to the judges.  “Judges have told me that they want to hear from the neighborhoods.  They want to understand how a particular crime has impacted a resident’s livelihood and way of life”, stated Whyte.

While Whyte was experiencing numerous victories in the court room, he indicated that he was only able to get to roughly 25% of the cases derived from arrests in the Central West End.  After hearing this, Bishop and Goedeker started to devise a full-time position that would follow all of the cases stemming from both the Central West End and Forest Park Southeast.  “In both neighborhoods we have numerous stakeholders that are willing to attend court hearings and write impact statements, however we needed someone concentrating and heading it up on a full time basis”, added Goedeker.

Soon after, WUMC dedicated the funding for the position and in November, 2012 a search committee made up of Central West End and Forest Park Southeast stakeholders sorted through and met with a host of candidates.  After a 2 month long search, Isabella Lovadina was named the Central West End and Forest Park Southeast Court Advocate and will begin her position on January 2.

Previously, Lovadina was a St. Louis Metropolitan Police Officer.  Her career as an Officer was cut short on October 5,2009 when two men attempted to rob and invade a home where Lovadina was visiting. The tragic incident resulted in the death of a mother of two, another victim being shot three times, and Lovadina being shot 5 times.  Although it was an extremely traumatic experience, she is thankful that she was there that night and was able to play a significant role in the capture and conviction of the offenders.

Regarding the position Lovadina had this to say, “Many times after an individual or community is victimized, they suffer many unpleasant feelings and emotions.  Many times victims feel that there is no one to turn to and to help guide them in the long process of keeping these criminals behind bars.  I will be there to encourage and guide them through a difficult and confusing process.  I will notify the community of crimes that are happening in their neighborhoods and encourage them to play an active role by volunteering to help keep their neighborhoods safe.”

As a former Forest Park Southeast resident, Lovadina remembers the challenges that once faced the neighborhood.  “Forest Park Southeast used to be considered a high-crime area, although there were many neighbors who cared about keeping our community safe.  The good people definitely outweighed the bad.  I experienced first-hand how neighbors who care can and will make a difference.”

Lovadina believes that the position is a perfect fit for her and a way to utilize her passion to help the community in making sure justice is served.  She brings a unique understanding to the role.  As a retired police officer she understands and appreciates how the justice system works and as a previous victim she can understand and relate to other victims.

Rachel Smith, Chief Prosecutor at the Circuit Attorney’s Office stated, “The investment in a neighborhood court advocate sends a strong message to criminals that these two neighborhoods can and will stand up for their communities.”  Smith and the entire Circuit Attorney’s Office welcome the position and look forward to working with Lovadina.

Whyte is thrilled to have Lovadina on his team and knows that she will make a huge impact as court advocate.  “I can’t imagine a more compassionate, dedicated, and professional individual.  Isabella brings experience as a police officer, in the court room, and as an advocate.  She is the complete package. ”

Getting to Know Isabella

WUMCRC: What are some of your hobbies?

Isabella: My hobbies are spending time with my 2 wonderful dogs Trudy and Mona.  Spending time with my family; especially my beautiful 3 year old niece Bella Rose.  I love to volunteer; one of my favorite organizations is The Mission Continues.  I enjoying running, painting, photography, and reading. 

WUMCRC: What do you love about the city of St. Louis?

Isabella: I love the diversity in our communities.  I love how St. Louis is a big city with a small town feel.  I love the beautiful homes, businesses, and parks here.

WUMCRC: What are your future plans?

Isabella: To make a positive impact on our communities.

WUMCRC: What is a random fact about you?

Isabella: This past summer I went to Comox Valley, BC to volunteer at a summer camp.  I worked with children with autism.

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  • Mike M
    January 27, 2013

    Saw your story on 48 hours. Good luck to you. My wife and I are happy to see your life moving ahead.

    Mike & Stefanie; Greensburg, PA.

  • Christopher Turner
    January 27, 2013

    I just want to say that you are a hero and a person that I very highly respect. Your a person that we can look up to and know that your what we want our children to take after. If I ever got the chance to meet you I would shake your hand knowing that I had someone like you protecting me everytime I went to St. Louis. I have a autistic grandson and i have explained to him what a brave person you are. I’m a 22 year military veteran and have met so many brave men and women but you are the bravest. Thank you, Thank you for being the person you are.

  • David Barringer
    January 28, 2013

    Izzy, I am a police officer in Springfield, IL and have been a police officer for 28 years. As a fellow officer I would trust you with my life. Best Wishes to you always and forever. Dave Barringer

  • Michael Chlanda
    January 28, 2013

    I am writing to say that it was a shame what happened to her (I saw that story about her on CBS 48 hrs.). Not to bring up any bad memories for the lady, but I hope she has found someone she can have a relationship with, and I’m sorry the incident screwed up one she had. They should have given the two guys that did that to her, and the other people, and cost the one lady her life, the death penalty. She was a brave lady (Isabella) and I wish God’s Blessings on her. Thank You.

  • Lisa
    February 7, 2013

    I too saw Isabella’s story on 48 hours. I lost my dad because of a hospital mistake and I am a nurse so I too know how these things affect going to back to work. I too can’t return to my job. I wish you GREAT success and happiness. Best wishes!

  • September 10, 2015

    Your just precious. I too saw the 48 hours show and you touched my heart. God has a plan for you right? I am smiling thinking of how you’ll take advantage of this delicate life. Much love from Oklahoma. Would love to take you out sometime in St Louis – your favorite place to dine to show my thanks for your service

  • Ani Bell
    December 16, 2015

    Isabella, I just watched the 48 Hours (again) featuring your case. I’m up late watching stuff online because I can’t sleep. I was in a near fatal car accident (a truck crossed the center lane & hit me head-on) almost two years ago, & am still suffering from chronic pain to the point that it’s often difficult to function. To be honest, it’s been a hard go, & lately I’ve been wondering how I’m ever going to make it through this…..but hearing your words, seeing what you experienced & survived, & now learning you’ve moved on to such a great job that’s a perfect fit for you — makes me think I can do this. If you can survive, I can, too. 🙂 Thank you for being brave enough to share your story. You’ve made a difference in my life.

  • Naty
    October 28, 2016

    Saw ur story on 48! I just want to say that you are a hero and i highly respect you. Dont ever forget you did the rite thing that day! God bless you always

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