SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – People in Springfield are being encouraged to join their Neighborhood Watch program to help cut down on crime.
A Springfield assault, that happened last week, is spurring much of the conversation.
Those with the Springfield Neighborhood Advisory Council said some of these programs are hoping to rebuild due to COVID-19.
Council Chair, Rusty Worley, said safety and security is everyone’s job.
“Having more people walking their dogs, pushing strollers, getting out, is a visual deterrent because when there’s eyes on the street, it chases away negative behavior,” Worley said.
Worley said it’s something everyone in Springfield should consider.
“Too often in today’s society, folks will go park and get in their garage and then come in their house and not make the extra effort to just be neighborly,” Worley said. “We’d encourage folks to just get to know those around them, establish some form of relationship, and then that way you can keep an eye out for one another.”
He said that includes getting involved with various Neighborhood Watch programs with the police department.
People are trained on how and when to report suspicious activity, among other things.
Springfield Police Department Lieutenant with the Community Services Section, Mike Lucas, said they need active participants in each neighborhood to take an interest in the program.
Lucas said COVID-19 changed how Neighborhood Watch program meetings were held.
“We did a lot of virtual meetings during that time,” Lucas said. “A lot of the neighborhood groups, a lot of the interest kind of dwindled away. We’re trying to generate interest where people get back involved in their neighborhoods, and then also start coordinating with us on a more regular basis and meeting with their Police Area Representatives.”
He said there are eight Police Area Representatives that are assigned to a specific beat. Each beat has several different neighborhood groups that meet on a regular basis.
To find out what beat you fall under in the city, click here.
From there, click here to find out who your PAR officer is.
Officer Lucas said someone’s PAR officer can schedule a neighborhood watch meeting or tell someone how to get involved with a specific neighborhood organization.