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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Plain walls, a couple uncomfortable chairs and a table—that’s what can usually be found inside a police interview room. This is known to be an effective environment for police to interrogate potential suspects of a crime. But why should victims get that same treatment?
Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson approached Police Chief Paul Williams with an idea for "soft" interview rooms –furnished, living room-like spaces--noting they are slowly becoming more common across the nation as law enforcement agencies and victim advocates see the need for a softer, more comfortable environment to bring victims into.
Victims of domestic or sexual assault sometimes have to overcome unwarranted feelings of hesitation or shame when coming forward to report their crime. “We want them to be at ease with the police officer investigating their case,” said Police Chief Paul Williams. “They have already suffered through a violent crime. It is important that they feel safe here.”
Both of the Springfield Police Department’s stations are now equipped with soft interview rooms thanks to donations from K Evans Interiors, DreamGrower Plants, National Art Shop, Ashley Home Furnishings and a grant provided by the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to The Victim Center.
Officials will “unveil” the soft interview room at Police Headquarters, 321 E. Chestnut Expressway, at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 3. Media is invited.
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Media Contact: Lisa Cox, Public Affairs Officer 417-864-1786 LCox@springfieldmo.gov Release authorized by: Chief Paul Williams