SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The safety of Springfield citizens remains a top priority for those running for local office.
Candidates running for General Seats C, D, and Mayor spoke to the Doling Neighborhood Association Thursday night.
“The communication between the neighborhoods and the police has got to be better, has got to be better,” candidate Callie Carroll said. “I really, truly think communication could help a lot of these problems, but we have to have two-way communication.”
“The first immediate step that I think that we could take is that we can find money somewhere in our budget to give retention bonuses, as well as sign-on bonuses not only to our police officers but people that work within the public safety sector all the way around.” Candidate Jeremy Dean said.
The two men vying for General Council Seat D say public safety can be improved with hiring practices as well as the treatment of workers.
“We’ve got a ton of unfilled positions,” candidate Bruce Adib-Yazdi said. “Part of that is just purely the workforce that we have here in Springfield. We need to be able to attract people to come and want to live here.
While referring to his own business, candidate Derek Lee said, “I took care of people in a different way. I increased benefits so that they got better health insurance. I bumped up pay some. I also showed a different kind of respect for people to where we did more stuff corporately.”
Mayoral candidate Melanie Bach says public safety can be incentivized on a smaller level while incumbent Ken McClure says a good economy can lead to public safety.
“I will say that one thing that’s not being done right now that I would like to see done is some sort of a stipend offered to police officers if they’re willing to get involved in their neighborhood association,” Bach said.
“Ultimately, what we need to focus on is the best public safety initiative is a good economy and good jobs. We have too many jobs that are not paid what they should.” McClure said.
Springfield voters will decide the winners of these races on April 4.