SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A new study claims Springfield is the 5th most dangerous city in the United States.
And a local crime watch group, “Queen City Watchdog,” shared some statistics at its first meeting.
Attendees included Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott, representatives from Isabel’s House, and Galloway Village Neighborhood Association.
Independent review site “Safewise” posted this article last August.
“There’s no organization that’s out there in our city that watches the city government,” said Michael Hasty.
Hasty ran for city council last April.
He lost but realized he does not need a seat to affect change.
That’s when he started the Queen City Watchdog group.
“It’s not conservative, it’s not liberal, it’s just down the middle to hold the city accountable to what the people want,” said Hasty.
Bringing attention to issues relating to crime is the main focus of tonight’s meeting.
“We have 15.32 crimes per thousand people, while St. Louis is at 18, st. Louis is substantially larger than us,” said Hasty.
According to the Safewise study, your risk of being a victim of violent crime in Springfield is 1 in 158 in 2021.
Greene County Sheriff Arnott attended the meeting, and responded, “crime has increased, we’re reacting to it. The problem is, we can’t get ahead of it. We used to be able to patrol, we don’t patrol anymore, we respond,” said sheriff Jim Arnott. “We do have a proactive plan to get things done. And we are working well together, including the city of Springfield. It’s just, the system is overwhelmed. I don’t know where you got your stats, I’m not saying they’re right, they’re wrong. I don’t know. But just going by the stats that you have, tampering or stealing of a car is huge.”
Dr. Brian Calfano, a political analyst who is an expert in data analyzing, also spoke on the issue.
He says to keep in mind that the study includes all non-violent crimes as well, “a lot of these researchers, as was the case with this study, will take raw information, like the FBI crime statistics, and then add information to those statistics to provide more insight or to scale the events a certain way. Like rape, and murder and aggravated assault, and property crimes, create an index, a weighted score for these various metropolitan areas. Then in an area like Springfield, a metro, could end up in that list of top ten dangerous.”
And while hasty acknowledges this, “all crime. Property crime has increased, violent crime has increased.”
He says it doesn’t make it much better, “I wouldn’t count it as dangerous, but I don’t like the term victimless because people work, and we close less than 40% of property crimes in the city,” Hasty said.
“You can defend it,” Dr. Calfano said, “but as a consumer of information, as the public, how do you look at it. You have to take it in a larger context.”
And Sheriff Arnott encourages everyone to get involved and not be afraid to report a crime if they see it.