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The Springfield Police Department is reevaluating its patrol routes after pinpointing areas high in crime. KSMU’s Brandon Goodwin reports.
Reporer standup: "I’m standing on the corner of Patton Avenue and McDaniel Street in downtown Springfield. From here you can see the bus terminal, a print shop, and a few night clubs. But to Springfield police, this is the crime epicenter of the city."
Officer Matt Brown pulls up a Springfield crime map on his computer.
“This is a point density map. This shows basically where the crime in the city occurs,” he said.
At first glance it looks like a weather radar map. The areas with heaviest crime look like menacing storm cells. Right in the middle of the city there’s this big, red, blob.
“If you look at the highlighted, red areas, that is an area where you have an higher incident of calls and a higher incident of crime. The crime rates and the higher crime are typically associated, center city,” he said.
But unlike a storm cell, Brown says these hotspots haven’t moved much in the past five years. The crime density map from 2006 looks almost identical to the map from 2010.
To help fight the trend, the police department is making some changes to how it patrols the city. The department is putting twopatrols downtown, where before there was only one. They’re also realigning the current patrol beats so they better match up with neighborhood associations.
“The intent of that and the purpose behind it is so that neighborhood can count on that beat officer or beat officers working their neighborhoods, consistently, over time. They see the same face. That officer know what’s going on in that neighborhood all the time. There isn’t a division amongst officers,” he said.
The new patrol system has been four months in the making and will go into effect January 30th.
For KSMU News, I’m Brandon Goodwin.