Willard, Mo. police adding new tool to fight crime on Frisco Highline Trail

WILLARD, Mo. -- Police in Willard, Mo. are gaining a new resource to help patrol the Frisco Highline Trail. It comes just weeks after a man was shot on that trail.

The department received an electric bicycle. It has big tires for on-or-off the trail and will go 20 miles without even pedaling. The patrol will add lights and sirens later.

It was two months ago a man walking on the trail with his fiance' was shot. Police say the suspect also shot a bicyclist not far from the trailhead in Springfield. The suspected shooter was arrested soon after and remains in the Greene County Jail.

Willard Police Chief Tom McClain says not long after, he received an email from an organization offering a corporate-sponsored police electric bike.
Freedom Bank in Willard agreed to the sponsorship to purchase the nearly $3,000 bike, and other community sponsors are providing the special uniforms.

The chief says there are a few officers interested in patrolling on the bike. They won't be able to patrol the trail full-time, but weather permitting, they hope to do so a couple of times a day.

"To me, it speaks of the fact that we are all on the same page," said McClain. "Public Safety is not just a police concern, and the community supporting this to the extent that we now have a tool that will be excellent in terms of policing the trail. So we are just elated."

Representatives with Freedom Bank will officially present the bike to the city of Willard in a free concert for Willard's birthday celebration at 6 p.m. Saturday in Jackson Street Park.