SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Springfield Police Department said the city continues to see an increase in the irresponsible use of guns.
Last week, Chief Paul Williams released updated gun violence numbers.
“I don’t have the September numbers yet, but by the end of the month we will have surpassed all of last year in the number of shots fired calls, the number of injuries, and the number of illegal guns seized,” said Williams.
In his report, Williams explained that he might sound like a broken record, but gun violence continues to plague the city.
“It is going to continue to be a problem moving forward,” said Williams. “We’ve had shootings between people in dispute, either driving or walking or in a fight with someone, and they choose to use a gun to shoot at someone.”
Recent shootings are prompting the conversation among locals. “I have a 10-year-old and 9-year-old grandson and granddaughter,” said Robin Vansickle, who lives near where a shooting happened. “They like to come out and play in the yard. It makes me not want them outside with people just firing off a gun for no reason whatsoever.”
Vansickle heard the shots ring out on S. Glenn over the weekend. “I was inside and, like I said, my son was outside working on the porch,” said Vansickle. “Come flying down Glenn, firing off a clip. Turned on Glenn onto Mt. Vernon and just drove by.”
Chief Williams said the department has always had an opportunity for focused efforts, but especially right now.”This is kind of a plus out of minus,” said Williams. “Because I have so many vacancies, I’ve got extra money, if you will, in my budget. Overtime is not an issue. We see a problem in an area, and we do direct patrol. I can put some extra resources, paying officers that overtime, to go focus on that area.”
Williams said it’s not all bad news. He predicts a 15 to 20 percent decrease in overall reported crimes for the year.