Columbia Police to end community outreach unit, form new unit

1 year 6 months 2 weeks ago Monday, November 12 2018 Nov 12, 2018 Monday, November 12, 2018 12:35:00 PM CST November 12, 2018 in News
By: Matthew Judy, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department announced it will be merging its community outreach unit and downtown unit into one "community resource unit."

The new resource unit will be made up of eight officers and two sergeants who will each be assigned a beat. This will free up six extra officers to return to patrol. Columbia Police Deputy Chief Jill Schlude said this was necessary because of staff shortages.

"We've been talking about the best way to effectively use those folks under the current staffing constraints we have and also what is the next logical evolution of the COU unit."

Schlude said the department had to come up with alternatives to the community outreach plan that were more viable in the long run.

"We are all constantly asking how do we be more efficient? Where do we need to put our resources? How can we do more with less?" she said. "In this case we want to look at how we can solve these problems long term."

She views the change as an opportunity to help serve the entire city better.

"Basically we are combining the work of both of the units in a way and expanding it throughout the city," she said.

Schlude said the community outreach model was working but was not sustainable in the long run.

"With our current staffing numbers the way they are, generally we average 7-10 vacancies, and so when you factor all those things in it makes it increasingly hard to commit that many people to that small of an area," she said.

Columbia Police Officers Association Executive Director Dale Roberts said the new unit could solve problems that the community outreach unit could not.

"The limitation to the COU unit was that it only focused on two or three neighborhoods so it wasn't able to address the entire city," he said. "The new unit it appears will be split up with one officer assigned to every beat so on a daily basis there won't be that kind of saturation, rather their resources will be spread out over town," he said.

Schlude hopes the change will help morale and allow officers to "feel like they are making a difference."

"You feel like you're digging a hole in sand when all you're doing is answering the radio. We really want them to start being able to have the time and the resources to dig into these problems," she said.

Roberts said this could be a first step in solving the departments officer shortage problems.

"A town of this size should have far more officers than this department has authorized. Hopefully, it appears this will put some officers back in patrol and that will make citizens happy and help the department where it needs some help."

The new unit will go into effect on January 13, 2019.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Tuesday was the rescheduled municipal election from April. The election was initially postponed due to Coronavirus concerns. ... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:25:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) — The Missouri Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a man imprisoned in a... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:18:01 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A 20-year-old Jefferson City man was arrested on suspicion of two different sodomy charges. The Fulton... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:05:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A 25-year-old woman is sharing her story after she was hit by a car Monday during a protest... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 9:44:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Protests continued along Broadway in downtown Columbia Tuesday night. During the protest, Columbia police officers took a... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 9:34:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri judge has dismissed two lawsuits against a ballot proposal to expand Medicaid health care... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 8:51:39 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A coronavirus outbreak at a Kansas City paper plant has infected more than 200 people. ... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 8:45:51 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
FORT LEONARD WOOD - A Department of Army civilian died at Fort Leonard Wood following a crane incident around 2... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 7:30:02 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Gov. Mike Parson announced Monday he is withholding $131 million from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 7:30:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - After several days of protests around the state of Missouri, Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones released a statement... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 6:59:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Boone County elections are being held today, and they look a little different than normal. COVID-19 precautions,... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 6:12:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Around 10:50 p.m. the Columbia Police Department tweeted and said Daniel Wood had been located. @ColumbiaPD... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 2:52:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS — The City of St. Louis is under a curfew starting Tuesday at 9 p.m. ... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 12:46:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Life today is razor's-edge tense. If your regular coping methods aren't measuring up, there are science-backed actions we... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 12:33:24 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
JEFFERSON CITY - Police are investigating a reported armed robbery involving a pizza delivery driver late Monday night. According... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:44:28 AM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Gunfire damaged several homes in northeast Columbia early Tuesday, though no injuries have been reported. Police responded... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:37:09 AM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Police are investigating a reported home invasion on Aspen Heights Parkway, during which three people apparently broke in... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:33:23 AM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 69°
6am 69°
7am 72°
8am 75°
9am 78°