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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE On the eve of Domestic Violence Awareness month, Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams announces that two of the 10 additional police positions to be added to the force will be domestic violence investigators. Like most communities, Springfield has seen a growing number of domestic violence cases over the past several years. Approximately one-fourth of Springfield homicides over the last few years and the majority of aggravated assaults police respond to are domestic related. An additional position – an investigator/ computer forensic analyst will assist with domestic violence cases involving cyberstalking and other issues. Center City will receive four additional patrol officers (2 per squad), as well as a crime prevention officer assisting the downtown area with programs such as Neighborhood Watch , Apartment Watch, Business Watch, Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) and Night Watch. The innovative Business Watch program will receive a crime prevention officer to expand and manage the program throughout the entire city. A dedicated drug diversion investigator will work with the Narcotics Enforcement Team, along with pharmacists and others in the community to address the growing problem of the diversion of prescription medication to illegal use. The grant, to be awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice COPS Hiring program over a three-year period, is an estimated $1,195,089. The City must make a local cash match of 25% of the cost of salaries and benefits over the three-year period, estimated at $398,363. City Council must approve and accept the grant. It has not yet been determined where the funds for the City match will come from. The Springfield Police Department is actively recruiting and testing for current vacancies, and that process will continue. According to Police Chief Paul Williams, an academy for the grant-funded officers will take place in June 2015. That would put these new officers on the street in March 2016. # # # For more information, contact: Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, 417-864-1009 (office) | 417-380-3352 (cell), [email protected]