- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - The Springfield Police Department has decided to change its foot patrol program from mandatory to optional, even though the program received positive comments.

The Springfield News-Leader (https://sgfnow.co/2jkaAkV ) reports the three-month pilot program is part of a city-led initiative called Zone 1 Blitz, and is meant to decrease poverty and improve quality of life in northwest Springfield. Foot patrol officers were assigned to three six-block neighborhoods for a couple hours every week in order to improve relationships between police and residents. The neighborhoods were specifically chosen due to high number of police calls in the areas.

Police Chief Paul Williams says there was no significant drop in crime or calls, and the majority of complaints officers heard involved vacant homes and traffic. Officers also found the length of the program was too long for one assigned area.

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Information from: Springfield News-Leader, https://www.news-leader.com

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