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Springfield Police Department adds new website section committed to transparency

(KY3)
Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 10:28 AM CDT
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The Springfield Police Department announced a new section of its website committed to transparency.

The section of the website is called "Where We Stand." It features Springfield Police Department policies, tactics and data in one location. Click

to see the special section.

Jasmine Bailey, public affairs officer for the Springfield Police Department, said the police department has been working on the new website tab for a couple of weeks in response to questions they've received from the community.

"We want to make sure that our community feels heard, that they know that we're willing to work with them to be a better police department and to be a better community as a whole," said Bailey.

She said a lot of the information included on the new site was already online, but you may have had to click on several links, or search for what you are looking for. The new site has been streamlined to make it easier for you to find what you need.

"The first step in making sure that we're building a relationship and an important dialogue with our community is to make sure that they are educated with the inner-workings of the police department and that's where you start," she said.

The tab, titled "Where We Stand," outlines important topics, like use of force, body cameras and easily accessible open data.

A Springfield woman, Christal Mercado, who is part of the police accountability group "Southwest Missouri Cop Watchers," said police should do even more.

"It's a good step, but not a big enough step," said Mercado.

Mercado feels like many of the issues that are being showcased on the new tab should have been already been addressed.

"It's stuff that we've been pushing for. So when we read through it, we said, 'we've asked for that, we went in front of city council in 2016 and asked for this,'" she said. "It's one of those things where we're glad to see it finally out there, but it should have already been implemented."

Bailey said police want the community to know that they hear their concerns and plan to continue to work toward transparency and change in the future.

"After you know what policies we have in place, then we can talk about what things maybe we need to implement in the future," Bailey said.

The police department released this statement:

At the Springfield Police Department, we are committed to transparency and maintaining open communication with our community members. We value and respect all people and uphold our promise to provide quality service to our community through personal integrity, fairness, open communication, and a helpful attitude. One way of fulfilling that promise is by offering a new comprehensive section of our website called “Where We Stand.” This addition is dedicated to compiling information related to SPD policies, tactics, data, and more all in one location. "I hope this effort will help foster greater trust and open communication between the Springfield Police Department and our community. I encourage you to look at all the information available,” said Police Chief Paul Williams. “If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out and let me know.” While most of the information was already publicly available, it is now more accessible and easy to find. We believe that our policies and practices serve as a model to departments around Missouri and the nation. However, our leadership is always willing to hear suggestions on how we can better serve the citizens of Springfield and ensure that they feel safe and valued.

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