Assistant police chief addresses recent violence in downtown Columbia

2 months 4 weeks 1 day ago Tuesday, August 14 2018 Aug 14, 2018 Tuesday, August 14, 2018 11:30:00 PM CDT August 14, 2018 in News
By: Abby Dodge, KOMU 8 Reporter and Ethan Illers, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - Assistant Police Chief John Gordon says the police department will be beefing up patrols in downtown Columbia this weekend, but that's not a sustainable solution for dealing with increased violence.

Speaking at a District board meeting Tuesday, Gordon said there will be 20 more police officers patrolling downtown this weekend. He said officers will be encouraging people to go home around 1:30 a.m.

"I think if we just do what we did last weekend, which was being out on foot and being around the people, and let them know that we are out here, I don't think we'll have any problems," Gordon said.

Caleb Adjoktse, manager of Hot Box Cookies, says the planned strategy is a good one.

"Getting people cleared out would help the safety of everyone else down here, even the small businesses," Adjoktse said. "It only takes one person with a gun to harm somebody or kill somebody. We're here to stop that.
Gordon said the increased officer presence is not a permanent solution, as many officers will have to work overtime they didn't ask for.

Gordon said he's taking it week by week to see how many officers are going to be needed. 

KOMU 8 News obtained statistics from the Columbia Police Department to compare the instances of gun violence.

In all of 2015, only one shots fired call was made downtown; last year there were four. 

So far this year, five shots fired calls have been made downtown, with four months still to go.

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