Springfield Police Department

On a recent Saturday evening, Caleb G stood with his sister Victoria on a stage setup in a corner parking lot, performing a rap selection that he wrote himself. His audience includes his fellow neighbors and the Police Area Representative. People are eating, chatting, and playing games, and most everyone is bobbing their head to the music. Others, like Caleb’s mom, are holding their hands to the sky.

“Woo! That’s awesome! Yeah!” exclaims a spectator.

Mike Smith / KSMU-FM

Officer Chris Laughlin works in the Community Services Section of the Springfield Mo. Police Department, and oversees the city’s Neighborhood Watch Program. 

Scott Harvey / KSMU

City councils have public hearings, school districts have parent-teacher conferences, and politicians have town hall meetings. These are among the existing and more popular forums through which citizens can express opinions, show support, or file a complaint.

And as the call for more transparency and community engagement from various agencies continues to grow, the opportunity to get in your two cents is also on the rise.

(Photo: Randy Stewart)

On this edition of the “Sense of Community” series we’re going to visit one of the smaller law-enforcement units in Greene County.  Situated about ten miles north of Springfield city limits is the town of Fair Grove, population 1,393 in the 2010 Census.  The Fair Grove Police Department headquarters are housed in the City Hall building, which also contains Mayor Tim Smith’s office, the Fair Grove Branch Library, and the City Council chambers.

Springfield Police Department / Facebook

For the second straight year, the COPS Hiring Program is awarding the Springfield Police Department grant money to hire more police officers.

The department will be able to hire 11 new officers thanks to the funding, which accounts for $1.3 million over a 3-year period.

The City must make a local cash match of 25 percent over that span, and then will assume 100 percent of the ongoing costs for the additional officers.