MUPD expands collaboration with Columbia police
COLUMBIA - Officials from the University of Missouri Police Department and the Columbia Police Department announced Friday they will be broadening the existing collaboration between the agencies.
With classes set to begin Aug. 25, the release said MUPD will assist CPD officers by providing additional patrols, with "safety and security on the campus and in the surrounding community" in mind.
The release also said officers from both agencies aim to increase enforcement of alcohol-related crimes, including under-aged drinking and drunk driving.
"Alcohol is often a factor in serious crimes, and it can place individuals at a higher risk of being a victim or making poor decisions," MUPD Chief Jack Watring said. "We're committed to making the campus and surrounding community as safe as possible, and we believe this new partnership with Columbia Police will benefit everyone."
MU Police Captain Brian Weimer, a 22-year veteran, said, "When we show up, we are there to help people. Our main goal is not to pad numbers but to keep community members safe and help intoxicated people get home."
Weimer added that the department often receives criticism about focusing too much on alcohol-related crimes, but said alcohol is often a catalyst in other, more serious crimes.
"We are delighted to be working with MUPD on this important effort," Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton said. "The crimes and disorder related to overuse of alcohol are unfortunately common in university communities. This partnership should enhance both agencies efforts in addressing these issues."
Watring said he encourages students and members of the community to call and report suspicious activities and security concerns immediately by calling 911 in emergency situations or MUPD at 573-882-7201 if time permits.
"Working together, we can reduce and eliminate crime," Watring said. "Safety is the responsibility of everyone. Reports about concerns and issues help us prevent crime before it starts."
Weimer recommends the following crime prevention tips to assist with personal safety and security:
• Walk in pairs.
• Walk in well-lit areas and stay on main sidewalks.
• Be alert and don't be distracted by wearing headphones, reading books, texting or engaging in similar activities.
• If of age and choosing to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
"It's important to note that someone can follow these tips but, unfortunately, still be the victim of a crime," Weimer said. "In the event that you are a victim of a crime, please call the police as soon as possible to make sure you receive any assistance as well as help us with catching the suspect and preventing other individuals from being victims."