Citywide discussion on community policing continues
COLUMBIA - The discussion on community policing continues to ripple through Columbia after a citywide meeting Saturday.
The City of Columbia and the Columbia Police Department hosted the meeting at City Hall. It was the sixth meeting out of seven.
The police asked for community input on what they would like to see from the department's Community Outreach Unit and its future community policing initiatives. They asked about ideas, funding and how to implement the plan.
Nikki McGrudder went to Saturday's meeting and said participating in these conversations is important.
"We want change, but I don't want people making changes for me without my input," McGrudder said. "So, if these are important conversations, I just encourage people to get involved."
McGrudder said she believes the full discussion cannot take place in just an hour and a half, so these meetings are just the beginning of a bigger conversation.
Maren Bell Jones, who is running for the District 44 Missouri House of Representatives position, was also in attendance at the meeting.
"We hear statistics about people of color getting pulled over more frequently in our county, and then people just don't know what to do about it," she said. "So the fact that we can, as a community, come and discuss with the officers our questions and concerns is very powerful."
The last community policing meeting is Thursday, June 28 at the Sunrise Optimist Club from 6 to 7:30 p.m.