As we continue to navigate a unique and historic time in our community, building relationships with our citizens is more important to SPD than ever. With masking and social distancing, we have found a number of ways to stay connected to the Springfield community.
At the end of August, Chief Paul Williams held an in-person Coffee with the Chief event at Neighbor’s Mill Bakery & Café. The event was modified to comply with COVID-19 restrictions and about a dozen citizens were able to attend. The purpose of the meeting is to encourage an open discussion between the public and the Chief and give citizens the opportunity to voice concerns or share ideas. Coffee with the Chief is a monthly event. If you would like to attend Coffee with the Chief, dates can be found at Springfieldmo.gov/SPD.
We are also excited to participate in a brand-new outreach program co-sponsored by the Missouri State University men’s basketball team called Bears, Badges and Kids. Through the program, MSU basketball players and SPD police officers hold monthly basketball camps around the city and work directly with local youth. The goal of the program is the humanize police officers and bridge the gap between local youth and law enforcement. The events are free for children in grades K-6 and lunch is provided. The next date is Saturday, Sept. 26 at Reed Academy (2000 N. Lyon Ave.) from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
Another way we’ve worked to continue outreach to local kids is through our Cold Patrol ice cream truck. To ensure the health and safety of our officers and the community, we have taken extra precautions by wearing masks and gloves while handing out single-serve ice cream packages. SPD officers will continue bringing the Cold Patrol to area neighborhoods until the weather cools in October. The next planned visits are:
- Sept. 9: Springfield Dream Center, 829 W. Atlantic, time TBD
- Sept. 15 and 18: Wonders of Wildlife (WOLF) School, 2 p.m.
- Sept. 23: Silver Springs Park, 1100 N. Hampton, 2 p.m.
- Oct. 1: Adah Fulbright Early Childhood Center, 3325 W. Battlefield Road (adjacent to Carver Middle School) time TBD
- Oct. 7: Alpha Tots Learning Center, 1601 W. Sunshine Ste. Q, 1 p.m.
Finally, we are planning to hold a Neighborhood Watch training session on Sept. 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Springfield Police/Fire Training Center, 2620 W. Battlefield.
Neighborhood Watch is a great way for citizens to build a relationship with our Crime Prevention Officers and get more involved in crime fighting efforts. The training focuses on crime prevention, observation and reporting skills, and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). This program is helpful in giving citizens the tools needed to fight crime in their neighborhoods and keep their homes secure. With 23 official watch groups now formed, the program continues to grow within the City of Springfield. If you’re interested in participating in the training, visit Springfieldmo.gov/SPD.