Columbia Police to end community outreach unit, form new unit

1 month 1 day 23 hours 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
NEW BLOOMFIELD - The Holts Summit Police Department has offered to include New Bloomfield in its coverage area for the... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 9:47:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A federal judge in Texas said on Friday that the Affordable Care Act's individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 8:12:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in Continuous News
WASHINGTON - A new report released Friday ranks Missouri 48th in the nation for tobacco use prevention programs. ... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 8:08:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The South End Zone Project at Faurot Field is just over halfway through its construction timeline and people... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 3:46:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
FULTON - Connie Cashion is the 2018 winner for the city's Jane Bierdeman-Fike Humanitarian Award. The award goes to... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 3:16:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
FULTON - A Fulton nonprofit surpassed their volunteer goal and is able to give over 400 children a Christmas miracle.... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 2:52:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - State Auditor Nicole Galloway will join the investigation into Josh Hawley's use of funds during his Senate... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 2:44:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Students walking around MU's famous Quad may have seen an unexpected visitor Thursday. MU student Massimo Montalbano... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 1:50:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The scooter company Lime announced it has taken its scooters out of Columbia for the immediate future. ... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 1:49:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Nearly 40,000 people in the United States died by guns last year, marking the highest number of gun... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 1:22:59 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The number of homeless people living in Boone County has increased in the past 10 years, according to... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 12:52:00 PM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Johnson & Johnson's ( JNJ ) stock fell as much as 11% on Friday — on track for... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 11:46:00 AM CST December 14, 2018 in News
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — A bomb threat forced the evacuation of the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, a day... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 11:39:38 AM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Facebook announced on Friday that the social network had exposed the private photos of millions of users without... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 10:15:10 AM CST December 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump's former attorney and "fixer" Michael Cohen said his former boss knew that having Cohen arranging... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, December 14 2018 Dec 14, 2018 Friday, December 14, 2018 9:44:00 AM CST December 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU Professor Francis Huang wants schools to rethink suspensions and embrace a positive learning environment. Haung conducted... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 10:10:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- 20 bikes and helmets were donated to Columbia kids in time for the holiday season. Big Brothers Big... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 7:15:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The former chief financial officer for Columbia Public Schools was sentenced Thursday to five years probation. Anna... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, December 13 2018 Dec 13, 2018 Thursday, December 13, 2018 6:25:00 PM CST December 13, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 36°
11pm 37°
12am 37°
1am 36°
2am 35°