Community Policing is a collaborative effort between a police department and the community they serve that identifies problems of crime and disorder, and involves all elements of the community, in the search for solutions to these problems. It is founded on close, mutually beneficial ties between police and community members. At the center of community policing are three essential and complementary core components:
- Partnerships between the police and the community.
- Problem Solving as a method to identify and effectively solve problems of concern to the community.
- Organizational Change within the police department to accommodate increased community engagement.
Police Area Representative (PAR) Officers, working in the Community Services Section, use a tactic known as problem-oriented policing to produce long-term solutions to the problems of crime or decay in communities. Police, residents, and other agencies or organizations, work together to identify and find the causes for neighborhood crime problems, then develop responses to those problems. In most cases, the responses developed through problem-oriented policing are joint police-community actions, which also involve participation by a variety of other departments within the City of Springfield. By doing this, the PAR Officers are able to resolve longstanding neighborhood issues, thereby avoiding an escalation of those specific incidents. Contact your PAR Officer if you have any concerns relating to the community you live in.
Providing general information is the job of the Public Affairs Officer (PAO). By serving as the central source of information about the department, and distributing news releases to the media, the PAO helps keep the community up to date about police-involved events in the City.
Crime Prevention Officers coordinate and help organize neighborhood watch groups and perform commercial and residential security surveys using established Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles. Crime Prevention Officers can also present programs on varied topics including robbery prevention, drugs, residential security, and personal safety.
Crime prevention tips are also available on this Web site. If you're interested in starting a neighborhood watch group or need other information from the Crime Prevention Officers, contact them at 417-874-2113 / 417-874-2188 or by e-mail.
National Night Out is an annual event held at Meador Park in partnership with the City of Springfield, Community Partnership of the Ozarks, and the Springfield-Greene County Parks Board. It promotes crime prevention and brings residents together along with those working on the front lines. See footage from National Night Out 2013 here. More information can be found by visiting Community Partnership of the Ozarks' website.