Columbia police chief speaks on downtown violence

3 months 17 hours 46 minutes ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 7:28:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
By: David Estrada, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – In his first comments on the extended period of weekend violence in downtown Columbia, Police Chief Ken Burton said at least some of the incidents have a gang element.

"We believe some of them are gang-related, others have just been disturbances and people had firearms on when they happened and shots got fired," he said.

Burton said CPD has been able to identify some of the suspects and determine why the shots were fired. However, Burton said he was not sure whether any of the suspects had been arrested.

Burton says there will be extra police presence downtown for the weekend starting on Friday, as students come back from summer vacation.

"With the kids coming back and all the other activities going on downtown, we wanted to make sure we had adequate resources available so that we could make it safer for everybody that wants to come down and enjoy downtown," he said.

Burton said one of the challenges when reinforcing police presence downtown is the shortage of police officers.

He said the department works closely with the city council to fill in those gaps, but the decrease in revenue from sales tax makes it harder for CPD to pay for more officers.

"There's either money there or there's not and the council can't print money, just like I can't," he said. "We need more staffing, so does the fire department, so the other city departments."

Burton said the city's financial situation makes it harder for CPD to patrol throughout the city. He said the department is having to draft some people to reinforce police presence downtown.

"Those resources would have to come from somewhere else," he said. "What we were encountering is we're having enough people on duty but if you had a disturbance or something like that downtown, and you had a significant number of officers that had to come downtown, then there were other areas of the city that were not being covered."

Burton said the police department does not have a long-term, permanent solution to the increase in violence downtown. He said the upcoming weekend would help them see what strategies work best.

"We are going to evaluate on a week-to-week basis, see how it goes this weekend," he said. "It's a training period for the new students that come in, as to what they can do and what they can't do. It would be an opportunity for officers to interact with students that are down there this weekend and kind of set the tone for the whole semester."

Burton said there is only so many things officers can do when trying to develop a new strategy.

"You can't look into a person's heart or what's in their mind, as far of what they're going to do with a firearm," he said. "But we are hoping that our presence would be a deterrent to that kind of behavior." 

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
CENTRALIA - Where would a man celebrating a half century of giving blood go to celebrate? Another blood drive... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:55:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- In a meeting this afternoon, Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes, apologized for the confusion surrounding the Columbia Police Department’s... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:17:49 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man is sentenced to 10 years in Federal prison for a 2017 armed bank robbery turned... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:14:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in Top Stories
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook said it's making progress on detecting hate speech, graphic violence and other violations of its... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 3:53:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Employment providers, state agencies and employers serving people with disabilities across the state came together to learn how... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 3:12:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Ceres, the statue that stood on top of the State Capitol for 94 years, touched ground Thursday.... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 2:48:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A bronze statue called Ceres will spend the next year being cleaned and touched up for conservation... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 2:30:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's unemployment rate has hit a tied record low. Data released Thursday from the... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 12:56:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
MAGALIA, Calif. (AP) — Cool weather helped fire crews gain ground Thursday against the nation's deadliest wildfire in a century,... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 11:52:00 AM CST November 15, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Two buses carrying students and staff from Our Lady of Lourdes Interparish School was involved in a... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 10:01:00 AM CST November 15, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - A judge ordered bond to be revoked Wednesday for a man charged in connection with an alleged conspiracy... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:47:25 AM CST November 15, 2018 in News
HUNTSVILLE - A judge sentenced a Moberly man to 18 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to child sex... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:35:37 AM CST November 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The number of kids in need is growing, according to the only foster care and adoption association... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 6:20:00 AM CST November 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Ceres, the bronze statue that sits on top of the Capitol Building, will come to ground level... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 6:02:00 AM CST November 15, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - Veterans at Moberly Correctional Center say a program designed to reconnect former servicemen to their military values has... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 9:33:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia plow drivers participated in the annual Dry Snow Run to practice routes for the winter season Wednesday... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 8:38:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Medical marijuana may play a part in the reduction of opioid usage, supporters say. According to the... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 6:39:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mike Veny experienced trouble with mental health throughout his childhood. Instead of letting his negative past consume him,... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 6:15:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 33°
8pm 35°
9pm 34°
10pm 34°
11pm 33°