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Springfield police chief says city crime rates are falling. That includes sexual assaults

Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams presents a report on public safety to Springfield City Council on February 21, 2023.
City of Springfield
Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams presents a report on public safety to Springfield City Council on February 21, 2023.

Springfield’s police chief told City Council this week that overall crime is down in the Queen City.

The message from Springfield Chief of Police Paul Williams for City Council was positive. Almost all categories of reported crime rates are lower in Springfield compared to this time last year. That includes sexual violence — at least for the moment.

“It’s been a huge focus over the last couple of months," Williams told Council. We kind of tracked along compared to the last two years, about the same, for the first two months. And then in May, we’ve had a significant reduction in the number of reported sexual assaults.”

Williams said the sexual assault category contains six distinct types of criminal charge. Reported rape offenses fell by almost 44 percent, reported sodomy by almost 36 percent. Williams said the numbers are trending well for the near future but could change.

“If we continue that trend, we will have a significant decrease in the number of reported sexual assaults in 2023 compared to the last two years, which would be a significant positive benefit for the community.”

Gregory Holman is a KSMU reporter and editor focusing on public affairs.