Columbia police chief speaks on downtown violence

2 years 1 month 4 days 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
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump hailed Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a "brilliant mind" in a statement Friday... More >>
39 minutes ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 5:00:00 AM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday , the court announced. She was 87. Ginsburg... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 6:43:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- For a father and son, a hug before the first game of football season is a special moment.... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 6:23:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in News
Week four of Friday Night Fever has arrived. Before you head out to your team's game or tune in to... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 5:56:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in Friday Night Fever
Games for high school football games will become available below. Final scores are in bold and home teams are on... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 5:44:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in Friday Night Fever
Welcome to Week 4 of Friday Night Fever! Our game of the week features the Marshall Owls taking on the... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 5:43:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in Friday Night Fever
STOVER - COVID-19 is affecting young and old alike in Morgan County. According to the Morgan County Health Center... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 5:03:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Battle High School canceled its game set for Friday against the Hickman High School Kewpies. Battle announced... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 3:14:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in Sports
NEAR CRANE, Mo. (KY3) - The Missouri Water Patrol is investigating a deadly crash killing a father and son from... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in News
MISSOURI- As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. The... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - As parents and student-athletes continue to protest the ban on some youth sports games... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 1:27:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A 39-year-old Missouri man accused of threatening to shoot people at a Walmart has been sentenced... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 12:43:05 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police officers are investigating two separate shots fired reports in west and south Columbia from Thursday evening.... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 11:26:00 AM CDT September 18, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- UPDATE 3 p.m.: The Columbia Board of Education met in a closed session with its attorney regarding the field... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 10:53:00 AM CDT September 18, 2020 in News
LANCASTER COUNTY, PA ( WPMT ) -- "It was really, really hard and scary," said James Stafford, a veteran. ... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 8:52:00 AM CDT September 18, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
(CNN) -- A firefighter has been killed in the El Dorado Fire, the blaze sparked this month by a botched... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 8:17:00 AM CDT September 18, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- The Commerce Department plans to restrict access to TikTok and WeChat on Sunday as the Trump administration's executive... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 7:56:00 AM CDT September 18, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. Previous coverage: ... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 7:49:00 AM CDT September 18, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
6am 50°
7am 48°
8am 50°
9am 54°