Springfield City Council approves Springfield Police department collaboration with OTC

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Springfield City Council had several things to vote on at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Council approved an agreement with Ozarks Technical Community College to collaborate with Springfield Police Department. The Springfield Police Department is now the primary law enforcement agency responsible for reports of crime on and around the college campus.

“The specifics of this MOU deal with sexual assault, reporting of such, it’s kind of a followup to some federal legislation that was passed last year requiring universities to report and investigate those types of crimes,” said chief Paul Williams with the Springfield Police Department.

This includes sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking incidents.

Chief Wiliams said it also requires universities to work with local law enforcement to make sure that those things don’t get hidden on campus.

The agreement was in the works last year but the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays.

“It will mean that on campus, they’re going to be required to do some more reporting. For us, it will mean that anything that occurs, they’re going to make sure that we know about specifically those crimes of sexual assault. So for students and faculty members, anybody else, it should give them a better sense of security and safety,” said Williams.

Another major item on Tuesday’s agenda included the approval of continued funding for the Springfield Police Department’s Body Worn Camera Program. The city approved the use of $119,195 per year for the next four years. Those funds will be split equally among all four of the city’s zones.

Other things discussed at Tuesday night’s meeting:

  • City Council also heard the first reading of a bill that will revise the agreement between the Springfield Fire Department and OTC regarding cooperative training.
  • Council also approved changing zoning regulations to add those who give acupuncture services to the list of people allowed to do business from home.
  • Springfield City Council also agreed on an increase in the Park Board’s operating budget for 2021-2022. The city approved the purchase of the Fieldhouse SportsCenter, which will be managed and operated by the Springfield-Greene County Park Board. The closing date will be on Sept. 28. Leaders decided to increase the Park Board’s budget by $604,907.91 to fund the operations of the sports complex.

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