FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Each August, Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams and Springfield neighborhoods send a message to criminals: Springfield neighborhoods are organized and fighting back against crime.
Aug. 7 will mark Springfield’s 7th annual National Night Out event to coincide with the national public safety event, and its second year at Nichols Park, 1900 W. Nichols, in the Heart of the Westside neighborhood. The event kicks off at 5 p.m.
National Night Out offers residents a chance to get to know their local law enforcement representative, fire personnel, first responders and other agencies and organizations that promote health and safety. The event gives families a chance to tour police, fire and safety vehicles, browse safety info booths and enjoy free hot dogs, ice cream and music. There will also be games and inflatables and a Police vs. Fire softball game starting at 7 p.m.
This free event is a result of collaboration between Community Partnership of the Ozarks, Springfield-Greene County Park Board and the City of Springfield.
National Night Out celebrates the culmination of crime prevention activity in all Springfield neighborhoods: people working together in associations and other groups to prevent and address crime and other neighborhood problems. It also promotes healthy neighborhoods and encourages people to get out and get to know one another.
“It is an occasion to celebrate past successes, discuss current challenges or issues, and re-dedicate collaborative efforts with neighbors, police, businesses and others to improve the quality of life in our city,” said Chief Williams.
Past National Night Out campaigns involved citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from thousands of communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.
The Springfield Police Department uses a variety of crime prevention and community engagement strategies to increase ways that citizens can protect themselves and their property.
Community policing is a collaborative effort between the 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.
Police Area Representative (PAR) officers use 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 long-standing neighborhood issues, thereby avoiding an escalation of those specific incidents. Citizens can locate their PAR Officers at the City’s website.
Neighborhood Watch, Block Watch, Apartment Watch and Business Watch are voluntary programs organized by concerned citizens to reduce crime. Working with local law enforcement agencies, citizens can learn when and how to report suspicious activities, assist in property identification, conduct security surveys and implement security measures and precautions.
Crime Prevention Officers coordinate and help organize watch groups and perform commercial and residential security surveys using established Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles.
Crime prevention officers are available to present on varied topics, including robbery prevention, drugs, residential security, commercial vandalisms and burglaries and personal safety and can be reached at can be contacted at 417-874-2113. Crime prevention tips are available at springfieldmo.gov/spd.
Neighborhood Night Out
National Night Out doesn’t replace the annual Neighborhood Night Out. Individual neighborhood and homeowner associations are encouraged to hold their own events following National Night Out to encourage neighbors to get to know each other.
Several registered neighborhoods in Springfield have already planned their Neighborhood Night Out:
- Midtown: 6-8 p.m., Aug. 24 at Washington Park, 1600 N. Summit
- Grant Beach: 6-8 p.m., Aug. 24 at Grant Beach Park, 1300 N. Grant
- Woodland Heights: Noon-3 p.m., Aug. 25 at Lafayette Park, 202 E. Atlantic
- Robberson: 4-7 p.m., Aug. 25 at Robberson Community School, 1100 E. Kearney
- Bissett: 4-7 p.m., Aug. 30 at Bissett School/Park, 3014 W. Calhoun
- West Central: 5:30-7 p.m., Sept. 7 at McGregor School/Park, 1200 W. State
- Westside: 2-4 p.m., Sept. 8, Westport School/Park, 415 S. Golden
- Tom Watkins: 4-8 p.m., Sept. 22, Tom Watkins Park, 2100 W. High
- Doling: In lieu of a Neighborhood Night Out, Doling will host a Halloween Bash. Details TBA.
For more information, contact Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement Cora Scott at 417-380-3352.