Springfield leaders believe police productivity and city presence impact city safety

SPRINGFIELD, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Springfield leaders believe they have not seen any increase in crime recently.

The city's police chief and city clerk believe a heightened presence from the police department and public works make the community safer.

Police Chief Barry Roberts said the city did experience more residential burglaries earlier this year.

"We have experienced a higher amount of residential burglaries in the past several months. We contribute that to a group of juveniles and we've charged the majority of them already," Roberts said.

He also said since then, he has seen a decrease in residential burglaries.

Roberts said police have stepped up patrols in residential neighborhoods.

"More proactive approach, being seen more, letting everyone know, 'Hey, we are here all the time,'" he said.

Lee Penton, Springfield's City Clerk, said he has seen more of a presence from not only police but from other city departments as well.

From fire trucks to utility trucks, he believes more of a city presence has had an impact on crime.

"That in itself probably is a big factor in reducing some of the crime," Penton said.

Chief Roberts said the community can play a role in making Springfield safer as well.

"You know what belongs, you know what doesn't belong. Call us immediately when you see something or someone that does not belong. If it's out of the norm, call us immediately," Roberts said.

Penton encourages residents to build relationships with their neighborhoods in case of an emergency.

"I would say let's turn it into a neighborhood, not a 'stranger-hood' and let's talk to each other and not ridicule each other and we can, you know, we'll all be safer," Penton said.

Chief Roberts said if people are going out of town during the holidays, they can contact Springfield Police to request additional patrol around their home.