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Springfield Police: Rise in Burglaries Related to Shortage of Officers

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/springfiel_4827.mp3

The Springfield Police Department says it’s seen a significant increase in burglaries over the past six months. KSMU’s Jennifer Moore interviewed the chief of police about what factors he thinks have led to this increase, and how the public can help.

According to the department’s Uniform Crime Report, burglaries increased by nearly 21 perfect from January to June of this year.

Police Chief Lynn Rowe says the department is currently operating with a functional shortage of about 50 officers, due to budget restraints and a city-wide hiring freeze.

This means fewer officers working on crime prevention, pro-active patrol, and specialized assignments in problem areas.

Police are reminding local residents that by using a few simple techniques, you can reduce your chances of becoming a victim of a property crime.

Those practices include locking your doors on your home and car, having someone check your home while you’re on vacation, and not leaving valuable items in your car.

Rowe also said many of the burglaries, as well as an abundance of other crimes, can be traced in some way to the drug trade in southwest Missouri.

For KSMU News, I'm Jennifer Moore.