Springfield Police Department focuses on community policing; NAACP says its a step in the right direction

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 5:59 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 1, 2023 at 6:17 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Springfield Police Department focuses on working with the community.

“We want to have a positive interaction with not only kids but anybody in the community that we can,” Major Stacey Parton says.

He says that looks a lot of different ways, from showing up to events to having resources for people who need them.

“We try to encourage officers to just engage people in conversation outside of their duties,” he adds.

These tactics seem more critical than ever.

Kai Sutton, president of the NAACP of Springfield, says this is the only way we will see change.

“I always think improvements can be made in any setting. In any kind of setting,” Sutton says. “I think open communication is essential.”

She says it’s the department’s job to keep citizens safe, something she hopes people will hold them accountable for.

“I mean, as police, you’re here to protect and serve,” Sutton says. “And I definitely think that’s what should be done. I’m not necessarily saying that doesn’t happen here, but it’s definitely a problem.”

Major Patton says that starts with recruitment and finding people who know how to talk to people. Then training that in those first few moments, that interaction begins.

“We should come across as very professional and very polite,” he says. “An officer on a traffic stop [might] be the only interaction this person will ever have with the Springfield Police Department.”

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com