The Beat Management Teams and Citizen Police Academy are designed to provide information to citizens and help them make informed judgments about the SPD and the issues that effect law enforcement efforts in the community.
Beat Teams/Citizen Police Academy
Improve the lines of communication by obtaining citizen input, and assisting graduates of the program in taking on the critical role within a Beat Management Team, providing information to their neighborhoods', and increase involvement on issues of mutual concern.
Build partnerships with graduates and encourage them to become part of a Beat Management Team to help the department and the citizens identify problems and create solutions for the crime issues affecting our community.
Gain Better Understanding of Each Other
Help residents of Springfield to better understand how the police work in their community by getting to know the men and women protecting their neighborhood and why and how they make the decisions they do while performing their duty. As well as help the department become more aware of the feeling and concerns of the community from citizen interaction and input.
Improve the Quality of Life
Help alumni make use of their training and knowledge as part of a Beat Management Team member in their neighborhoods where they can enhance the overall quality of life in the community together with the Springfield Police Department.
It is based on the premise that both the police and the community must work together to identify, prioritize, and solve contemporary problems such as crime, drugs, fear of crime, social and physical disorder, and overall neighborhood decay with the goal of improving the quality of life in our city.
The nine neighborhood Beat Management Teams within the three policing divisions are the cornerstone of Springfield's law enforcement partnership. Officers are assigned to neighborhoods and meet regularly with Beat Management Teams and the general community to discuss localized problem solving. This has opened lines of communication both directions.
In addition to the officers, the Deputy Chiefs, Captains, and Lieutenants have been decentralized into the neighborhoods. Headquarters and decentralized commanders meet regularly and department resources are directed based on accurate and timely data provided by our Crime Analysis Unit. Community Based officers allow our officers to meet the needs of the community in the neighborhoods.
The Springfield Police Department's Community Policing is part of a national initiative and collaborative effort between the police and the community that identifies problems of crime and disorder and involves all elements of the community in the search for solutions to these problems. It is founded on close, mutually beneficial ties between police and community members.
What is the Citizen Police Academy?
This program, developed by a committee of citizens and police, provides an opportunity for citizens to learn about policing in Springfield. Topics include the role of the police department, communication, team building, the law diversity, policies, citizen involvement opportunities and prevention activities. These informed citizens can use the information to instruct others and help to dispel some of the misconceptions concerning police officers. The citizens have learned from the police and the police have learned from the citizens. Trust and understanding is built. Many graduates continue to be active in our Beat Management Teams and related prevention efforts. This ten week program has graduated hundreds of participants.
The Citizen's Police Academy offers a ten week curriculum for citizens. The curriculum was developed by a committee made up of police and citizens and offers weekly lessons on subjects such as Police Subculture, Domestic Violence and Ethics in Law Enforcement. For more information, contact Magda Colon, the Citizen Liaison, at 413-787-6359. Policing in Springfield is truly changing.