Columbia city officials seek a reduction in crime

Mayor Treece said the city has been working diligently with the police department in the fight against crime. (Elizabeth Hoffman/ KRCG 13)

As shootings have become a regular occurrence, Columbia city leaders said they want that to change.

Mayor Brian Treece and Councilman Mike Trapp both share a love for Columbia and share the same desire to reduce crime.

"I was able to start a business here and buy a home here and build a family here and eventually become mayor," Treece said. "And I want everyone to have that same success."

Both the mayor and councilman said that community policing has helped the Columbia Police Department, and it has resulted in a 30% drop in the crime rate.

"I think we have to get our hands around the epidemic of gun violence and that is hand in glove with the opioid crisis that we're seeing right now," the mayor said. "And by all measurements, we've had over 43 opiod and heroin overdoses in the last five years right here in Boone County."

He said the city has been working diligently with the police department.

"We've added 12 new police officers to the front lines without raising taxes," he said. "We've had 10 officers volunteer to be on a community outreach unit that is specifically working in three targeted neighborhoods."

Councilman Trapp said if citizens and police are in partnership, he is confident there will be a reduction in crime.

"The expectation of citizens is the police will not only investigate and solve violent crimes, we have a clearance rate higher than most cities as far as bringing perpetrators to justice, he said. "But there's an expectation that the police will actually prevent crime, and to do that we need the partnership of the the community."

The Columbia leaders said the community policing has been in place for one year and the 30% drop in crime includes fewer robberies, vehicle thefts and shots fired.

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