SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Springfield Police Department (SPD) is taking the extra money it has from officer vacancies to put a stop to crime in problem areas. One of those areas is on Glenstone between Kearney and I44.

“We actually had a meeting with probably 20 business owners, hotels, convenience store, gas station restaurants,” Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams said. “They’d been complaining to the mayor and the council, the city managers. We put together whole group and met and looked at some things we could do to help.”

Williams said one of the main concerns from businesses in the area was trespassing. Others included drug use, and assault.

“Most of them hired security,” Williams. “They’ve already warned someone or their security was asked escort them off the premises. They’ve been told not to come back and they’re still creating an issue. So making sure our officers knew that this is kind of a they’ve done all they can do now it’s up to us.”

Nearby hotels like the Holiday Inn say they’ve had their own issues with trespassers.

“We have a lot of incidents when off the streets, people they are coming to our, you know, the hotel rooms because there is a renovation going on so they hide,” Holiday Inn General Manager Zach Ali said. “We do have our own security. We cannot really push them or ask them to leave. So we have to ask the local authorities to come over and to help us so we can ask them to leave.”

Officers volunteer to work overtime and operate under zero tolerance aggressive enforcement. In January, officers worked over 300 hours and made 19 arrests.

“This needs to be a safe area for people to conduct legitimate business and not be involved in criminal activity,” Williams said. “If you’re doing something like that, then we’re going to cite you. We’re going to rescue and remove you and and make it better for everyone there.”

SPD is hopeful to finish with this directed patrol effort within a few months.