Public Housing Patrol
The need for more police presence during day-time business hours came after the Columbia Housing Authority couldn't hire more security staff because of budget cuts.
"We have an ongoing relationship with the Columbia Police Department," said Phil Steinhaus, CHA executive director. "It's very important for us to provide for safe neighborhoods, and so this is just an extension of previous work with the police department."
Police used to patrol downtown in late afternoon and at night. But then more crimes, especially drug deals, occured during the day. Now, officers want to reduce crime while getting to know area residents.
"We want to make relationships with the community while at the same time dealing with the criminal element," explained officer Tim Giger. "So if you're a criminal, not good. If you're living in the central city area, we're going to come meet you."
The two officers will patrol from Stadium Boulevard east to Providence Road, and from Business Loop 70 south to Broadway.