During a meeting of Springfield City Council’s Finance and Administration Committee today, a discussion of waiving fees for police reports for victims of sexual assault turned into a broader discussion of victims of crime in the city of Springfield.
The council committee members (Mike Schilling, Craig Hosmer, Richard Ollis and Matthew Simpson) were all favorable about the idea of waving the city mandated fee on a police report for victims of sexual assault. City Manager Jason Gage told the council members the cost to the city would be “negligible” if the council members wanted to make the move as a way for city government to serve the community.
Councilman Craig Hosmer then raised the issue of putting victims of sexual assault into a special class from other victims of crime within the city and said it might be the right thing for city council to waive the fees for any crime victim within the city.
“There is no reason I can think of for any victim of a crime in the City of Springfield to have to pay a fee for the police report in their case,” Hosmer said. “It might even make them more likely to cooperate with law enforcement.”
City staff did not immediately have a breakdown of the cost to the city of waiving fees only for victims of crime in the city. Lawyers, defendants and anyone other than the named victim in the case would have to still pay the $2 fee.
The committee members voted unanimously to send the fee waiver for sexual assault cases to the full council for a vote. They also asked city staff to investigate the cost to the city to waive the fee for all victims of crime within the city of Springfield.