Springfield commissioners to consider dual name for portions of West McCreight to honor Safety City creator

A portion of West McCreight Avenue from St. Paris Road to Fountain Avenue may be renamed. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Caption
A portion of West McCreight Avenue from St. Paris Road to Fountain Avenue may be renamed. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Herman Carr spent 20 years with the police department in community relations.

Springfield is considering a request to dual name a section of West McCreight Avenue to honor a late former city police officer who dedicated most of his career to working with local children.

City commissioners are being asked to consider adding Herman Carr’s name to a 0.7-mile portion of West McCreight between North Fountain Boulevard and Saint Paris Road.

Carr, who died in 2019, served in the Springfield Police Division for 27 years before retiring in 1988. He is best known for creating the Safety City program in 1969, which saw almost 1,000 children participating each summer until he retired.

The idea behind that program was to teach safety classes to thousands of kindergarten-age kids in the city and surrounding areas, according to Carr’s obituary.

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That information was shared by his son Clark Carr, who spoke to commissioners during their most recent public meeting. He said his father dedicated 20 years to the Safety City program.

“But the key is my father knew when to follow them through elementary school, junior high and high school,” Clark Carr said.

Herman Carr was known for being active at local schools and engaging with local students, sometimes as Herman the Magician. He also led school safety patrol students during a local parade in which the route included the portion of West McCreight that may share his name.

Herman is remembered for spending 20 years with the community relations department of the Springfield Police Division and dedicated many hours of service in the Springfield school systems working with students of all grades.

“He would always work in a little bit of magic be it at safety city, be it in the schools. That was the love of his life, seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces that he connected with. He was truly an ambassador for the city of Springfield,” Clark said of his father.

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The request to have a dual name was approved by the planning board and did not receive objections from other divisions within the city.

If the dual name is approved, half of the cost would come from those who filed the application while the other half would come from the city.

Commissioners are expected to vote on the name request at their next public meeting Sept. 14.