UPDATE: City Releases Plan to Improve Police Department
COLUMBIA - Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes' office released his plan Friday to improve the Columbia Police Department. The report comes in response to the poor results found by an outside consultant. The city hired Eric Anderson this winter and revealed his findings in March.
Anderson found the community's satisfaction with the police department has dipped from seven years ago. In 2005, 81% were satisfied and in 2012, 69% were satisfied. He also reported "the supervisory culture is approaching toxicity" and said "morale of the department is extremely low." Anderson ended the research with 14 recommendations, which Matthes responds to in his plan he's calling a "police department road map."
Matthes said over the past month, he has met with the police command staff, the Columbia Police Officers Association and gotten input from the department as a whole to help create his plan. In the plan, Matthes included ideas on how to improve the department like a review of the police chief and command staff, which he said he will personally conduct by the end of May. Anderson recommended the department improve and increase training as well, because nearly half of patrol officers have less than five years of experience. Matthes responded to that by saying he wants to return and increase funds to training and improve the curriculum.
On the recommendation to increase salaries, Matthes called it a city-wide problem that he plans to address in his next recommended budget. Matthes also touches on improvements to police facilities and community outreach. The entire police department road map is below.