The Springfield Police Department’s Quarterly Public Safety Report (QPSR) was released to the public on Wednesday and highlighted the department’s efforts to show open sharing of police data while also showing a rise in crime in the city.
The report showed that in the first quarter of 2019 crime rose two percent compared to the first quarter of 2018 including a 28% jump in crimes against persons.
The quarter showed double the number of homicides from the previous year (6 in 2019 versus 3 in 2018) and a jump in aggravated assaults (408 in 2019 versus 296 in 2018.) The PD attributes the rise in assaults to a rise in multiple victims at incidents. Robbery saw a slight increase and rape had a very slight decrease compared to the first quarter of 2018.
Crimes against property fell three percent compared to the previous year but there was a slight rise in vehicle theft. Springfield PD noted that people need to make sure to lock their car doors and especially never leave the vehicle running while it’s unattended.
The Springfield PD’s report highlighted efforts to provide transparency to the public in their operations. The report notes that the department is one of 130 law enforcement agencies that are in the Police Foundation’s Police Data Initiative, sharing their crime data with other departments with an aim to give the public a better understanding of law enforcement.
“Our hope is that by providing open data it will help to foster an honest and transparent relationship with the people of Springfield,” Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams wrote in the report. “It is a priority for me and the SPD to make information about the department easily available to citizens. Sharing open data through the PDI is just one of many ways we are working to accomplish that goal.”
The police department is also inviting the public to provide categories they would like to see in the open data provided through the initiative. If you have a category you would like to see in the report, contact the Springfield PD at firstname.lastname@example.org.