Columbia Police to end community outreach unit, form new unit

1 year 7 months 3 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
(CNN) -- The short-form video app TikTok has quickly become a key part of popular culture in the US, serving... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, July 09 2020 Jul 9, 2020 Thursday, July 09, 2020 6:17:00 AM CDT July 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - After an overnight shooting Sunday left two dead and three injured, a family member of some of the... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, July 08 2020 Jul 8, 2020 Wednesday, July 08, 2020 7:30:00 PM CDT July 08, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Thursday is the last full day Columbia residents will be able to go out in public without a... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, July 08 2020 Jul 8, 2020 Wednesday, July 08, 2020 5:02:00 PM CDT July 08, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri addressed international students via email in regards to the guidelines enforced by the Department... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, July 08 2020 Jul 8, 2020 Wednesday, July 08, 2020 5:01:00 PM CDT July 08, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Missouri, state and local officials confirm new case counts daily. ... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, July 08 2020 Jul 8, 2020 Wednesday, July 08, 2020 5:00:00 PM CDT July 08, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- University of Missouri Police Department officers arrested Columbia man Ian M. Laird, 20, for sidewalk vandalism near the Thomas... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, July 08 2020 Jul 8, 2020 Wednesday, July 08, 2020 4:24:00 PM CDT July 08, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Citing "severe staffing shortages," the City of Columbia suspended all curbside recycling pickup effective Wednesday. In a... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, July 08 2020 Jul 8, 2020 Wednesday, July 08, 2020 4:19:00 PM CDT July 08, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA —Businesses across mid-Missouri received millions in loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, a coronavirus relief program aimed at... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, July 08 2020 Jul 8, 2020 Wednesday, July 08, 2020 4:06:00 PM CDT July 08, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — South Callaway School District superintendent Kevin Hillman announced on Wednesday plans for the upcoming semester. As of... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, July 08 2020 Jul 8, 2020 Wednesday, July 08, 2020 3:44:00 PM CDT July 08, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The 2020 Show-Me State Games have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The games have been... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, July 08 2020 Jul 8, 2020 Wednesday, July 08, 2020 3:15:00 PM CDT July 08, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Today is the last day to register for voting in the August 4 primary election in Boone County.... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, July 08 2020 Jul 8, 2020 Wednesday, July 08, 2020 2:20:00 PM CDT July 08, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - As the new mask ordinance comes into effect, local gyms are among the few exempt from the measures.... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, July 08 2020 Jul 8, 2020 Wednesday, July 08, 2020 2:18:00 PM CDT July 08, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Hey sleepyheads -- have you been turning off or covering up all your smartphone and computer lights in... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, July 08 2020 Jul 8, 2020 Wednesday, July 08, 2020 12:31:24 PM CDT July 08, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA (Missourian) - The University of Missouri System will introduce a plan Wednesday to bring high-speed, affordable broadband internet... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, July 08 2020 Jul 8, 2020 Wednesday, July 08, 2020 9:45:22 AM CDT July 08, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA (Missourian) - The Boone County Commission has no plans to follow Columbia’s lead and impose a countywide mask... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, July 08 2020 Jul 8, 2020 Wednesday, July 08, 2020 9:41:19 AM CDT July 08, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA (Missourian) - Registered voters in Missouri will be able to vote absentee, by mail or in person with... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, July 08 2020 Jul 8, 2020 Wednesday, July 08, 2020 9:36:24 AM CDT July 08, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, July 08 2020 Jul 8, 2020 Wednesday, July 08, 2020 9:16:00 AM CDT July 08, 2020 in News
HOWARD COUNTY - On Wednesday, the missing girl was found safe. An endangered person advisory was issued in Howard... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, July 08 2020 Jul 8, 2020 Wednesday, July 08, 2020 5:06:00 AM CDT July 08, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
8am 79°
9am 81°
10am 82°
11am 83°