Springfield: East Side Residents Feel Disconnect with Police
After recent violence in Springfield, concerns have been raised by residents that there's still a disconnect between police and east side residents.
The recent violence over the new year holiday has people on the east side calling for change.
"I'm tire of being ignored," a gentleman addressing city council said. "We're not going to be ignored no more."
There's concern that crime on this side of town is not being solved because of disconnect between residents and police.
"People just don't feel comfortable around them because there's no relationship established," Yaakema Rose said. "They need to familiarize themselves with the community and be more active and involved."
Rose is an owner of an east side barber shop. He said this will help as well as having a police force that's a representation of the community they serve.
"I think there needs to be more minorities on the force," Rose said.
Within the Springfield police force, there are 18 racial minorities out of 247 officers. Thirteen are black, three are Hispanic, and 2 are Asian. The permanent east side beat officers during the day shift are all white. There are three black officers on afternoon shift.
"Having them assigned a year at a time helps us immensely with our communication with the community," Deputy Chief Cliff Buscher said.
The Springfield Police Department is trying to recruit more minorities.
"The more diverse the department is, the more they'll understand the need of the community," Buscher said.
The recent violence to some is looked at as a chance for change.
"Historically here in Springfield we have some difficulty as it relates to the trust in the community as it relates to law enforcement," Howard Peters with the Springfield Urban League said. "This is certainly an opportunity to tighten those bonds."