Springfield Police Department

Springfield Police Department
Scott Harvey / KSMU

The Springfield Police Department’s 2015 third quarter public safety report shows a 68 percent increase in reported rapes compared to July through September of last year. Public information officer Lisa Cox describes what might be the cause.

“It is difficult to pinpoint, we would hope, we would really hope that the cause of the dramatic increase is just that more people are coming forward,” says Cox.

Some of these reports are happening on local college campuses, and Cox says public awareness about sexual assault at school may play a factor. 

Roland Tanglao / Flickr



UPDATE:  The man killed by Springfield police officers early Wednesday has been identified.  He is 30-year-old Joseph Tyndall from the Joplin area.  Springfield police say his only known relative in that area has been notified.

According to a news release from the Springfield Police Department, Tyndall had a lengthy criminal history that included convictions for unlawful of use of a weapon, burglary, receiving stolen property and numerous other arrests. He was on parole at the time of the incident.

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.