SPRINGFIELD — Even though they never know what they are going to encounter on a daily basis, Springfield police officers never change their approach.
They keep close connections with the citizens they serve.
“Community-oriented policing is not going into schools or clubs every now and then. Community-oriented policing is what you do everyday,” said Paul Wynn, chief of the Springfield Police Department. “That’s citizen contact, being out in the neighborhoods and finding out what is going on.
“We practice that wholeheartedly.”
Wynn said citizens provide crucial information that helps his officers curb crime.
“It’s how we find out what we need to tend to,” he said.
The Springfield Police Department maintains high visibility in the city’s businesses and the lone school in its jurisdiction. The department includes Sgt. James Woodcock, APO Nicholas Cavanah, APO Amelia Smith, Officer Sara Petuya, Officer Alexander Griffin and Officer Clinton Easton.
“We are proactive everyday working with citizens and working with their complaints,” Wynn said.
Wynn’s department has seven officers and he is looking to add one. The officers are well trained, he said.
“You are always learning something,” Wynn said. “We do monthly in-service training with our guys. We have a couple of instructors that we bring in. We alternate what type of training that we provide each month.
“We base it on what we see our needs are, and that’s on top of the annual training that we are required to get.”
Wynn said his department has noticed a recent uptick in fraudulent financial transactions. In addition, he said it remains steadfast in its effort to combat illegal drugs.
“We’re proactive, not reactive,” Wynn said. “We’re in every neighborhood three or four times a day.”
See the May 23 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.