“Safer Streets” Initiative Comes to SGF

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SPRINGFIELD — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt says the goal is to crack down on violent crime.

Missouri’s newly appointed Attorney General, Eric Schmitt, was in Springfield Thursday to roll out a new intiative designed to reduce and prosecute violent crimes. 

The “Safer Streets” initiative was already implemented in St. Louis on January 22. 

Thursday it was set forth in Kansas City and Springfield.

In the new partnership between state and federal attornies, a lawyer will aid local prosecutors by focusing on homicides, gun crimes, and carjackings.  

U.S. Attorney for the Western District, Tim Garrison, says the goal is not mass incarceration, rather to identify the most prolific offenders of violent crimes.

“Then, in coordination with our local partners, to jointly determine the best forum in which to prosecute them — whether it be federal or state court,” Garrison explained.

Schmitt compared Springfield to St. Louis and Kansas City when it comes to violent crime. 

“Springfield is a great place to call home, but unfortunatley we’ve seen violent crime on the rise, and it’s an all too often occurence which is why we’re here today,” says Schmitt.

Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott says all crimes overall are down about 3%.  

As for those violent crimes — or crimes against persons — they include homicide, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. 

“We’ve seen a little increase over last year, however a decrease from the year before. So, roughly we’re about the same,” Arnott says.  

Those numbers mostly dropped from 2016-2017, but did rise a bit from 2017-2018. 

Arnott says those numbers are low compared to St. Louis and Kansas City, and Greene County hasn’t had problems in getting things prosecuted. 

“Between the Greene County Prosecutor and the U.S. Attorney’s office, we’ve never had an issue in Springfield getting a case pushed through for resolution,” says Arnott.  

Neither the Springfield Police Department or the Greene County Sheriff’s Office recieved an invitation to attend Thursday’s press conference. 

However, Schmitt and Garrison expressed their support for law enforcement and say this plan will aid the justice process. 

Sheriff Arnott says that if they are adding another prosecutor in Springfield, that it’s a postive.

The Springfield Police Department and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office have released their uniform crime reports for 2018, which display crime statistics. 

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