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Agreement with Springfield Universities Puts Police on Campus

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- College campuses across the Ozarks are back in full swing which means thousands of more people are on the streets in Springfield.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- College campuses across the Ozarks are back in full swing which means thousands of more people are on the streets in Springfield.

With more people in some of the busiest areas like downtown Springfield, it can create bigger chances for problems, according to the Springfield Police Department.    
An agreement has officers working hand-in-hand with the Missouri State University to help protect and prevent.

Roughly 40,000 students are back in the city now that school is underway.  SPD Captain Ben King says they staff accordingly for some of the most highly trafficked areas.

Dr. Jim Baker, Missouri State: "Missouri State, OTC, Drury and Evangel there are a lot of students probably around forty thousand that are here," says Dr. Jim Baker of Missouri State University.

Baker says Springfield goes from a quiet town in the summer to a college town in the fall. "Its like two different communities and its pretty quiet here in the summer time."

With more people in the city starting this month, Springfield Police know when to increase patrols.
"We do have a little bit of rise the first few weeks of schools with disturbances downtown because we have more people in the downtown area," Capt. King says

King says the police have a longtime agreement with Missouri State and Drury and paid for by the universities.
"We have officers that are assigned there, they are responsible for campus activities as well as crimes on the campuses."

King says nine officers patrol the MSU campus while two are at Drury.
"A lot of times either they don't have officers assigned there or they are actually paid through the university. With us the university pays the officers salaries, its on a contractual basis each year."

King says with officers on campus are there to protect and prevent.
 "We have officers that are specifically certified to teach certain classes around the campus and we will also have request from resident advisors to come over and give certain classes on the alcohol laws or drugs."

King says they do see a rise in theft from properties because cars are left in parking lots over night or things are kept visible.
He says part of their prevention is to encourage those leaving their cars on campus to stow valuables.

All and all, King says being on campus they can interact and strengthen their relationships with students on campus and in other parts of the city.

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