Group upset after police community outreach units dissolved

11 months 4 days 14 hours ago Wednesday, November 14 2018 Nov 14, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 5:41:00 PM CST November 14, 2018 in News
By: Connor Snelson, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department recently announced their decision to end its Community Outreach Unit and some citizens are upset.

The department plans to form a new resource unit to replace the Community Outreach Unit. It will be made up of eight officers and two sergeants who will each be assigned a beat.

Columbia Police Deputy Chief Jill Schlude said this was necessary because of staff shortages.

This will free up six extra officers to return to patrol, but comes at a cost.

The Community Outreach Unit which serves four neighborhoods based on a community policing approach will be dissolved.

Rachel Taylor, secretary for Race Matters, Friends, says this sudden decision will have consequences.

“It’s going to undermine trust between the community and the police department,” Taylor said.

Taylor said the outreach units made positive impacts in their communities.

“I have heard anecdotal reports from community members to which the COU units were assigned that they felt like they were having a very positive impact on the community, the police were able to receive trusted intelligence about crimes and the community believed that the police had their best interest and safety in mind,” she said.

Taylor says the removal of this program is a step backwards.

“The dissolving of the community outreach units is a major step away from what has been articulated as best practices for community oriented policing,” she said.

Race Matters, Friends is a Facebook group that has advocated for community oriented policing for years.

“One of the things that Race Matters, Friends has advocated for is moving the philosophy of community oriented policing and the practice out of those specific neighborhoods and into the entire force.”

Taylor says it’s about working together.

“Community oriented policing starts with a philosophy that supposes that the police and the community are part of a whole and that we are all working together to achieve public safety”

The Columbia Police Department says the changes were based on low staffing numbers, but it’s not about money.

“One of the arguments that the Columbia Police Department has had is that they are severely understaffed. We’ve challenged that for several reasons, for one we often say that a philosophy change doesn’t cost anything,” she said.

KOMU 8 reached out to the Columbia Police Department, but has not heard back. More information on the departments decision can be found here.















More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Children in St. Louis have been the victim of homicides at 10 times the national rate... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:34:54 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he is reversing his plan to hold the next Group of Seven world... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:19:49 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police were seen searching the area near the scene of a crash Saturday afternoon. Police responded to... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 8:31:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Community members came together Saturday for a Walk and Roll-A-Thon in recognition of Disability Employment Awareness Month. ... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 5:11:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Demonstrators rallied at Speakers Circle on Saturday for the first ever National Period Day. Organizers said they... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:47:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Community members got the chance to challenge Columbia police officers in their favorite video games during the department's... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:41:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Grassroots organizations are working across Missouri to persuade gun-related business owners to join efforts to limit... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:37:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
SALINE COUNTY — Three Saline County children abducted in 2017 were found in Arlington, Texas on Thursday, according to the... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 2:15:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One Lincoln man is dead following a crash between a motorcycle and a tractor-trailer Friday night on... More >>
14 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 1:19:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Water and Light department said it believes all power has been restored in Columbia. About... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 10:05:00 AM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
MARSHALL - The suspect in a pair of shootings in early October has been caught out of state, police announced... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 9:10:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
CALIFORNIA - A man heard his sentence on Friday after killing a 20-year-old three years ago for drunk driving. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 6:31:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Below are scores from football games around mid-Missouri. Final scores are in bold. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 6:06:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA —The University of Missouri issued a statement Friday that the MU Department of Theatre was "in error" when it... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:52:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Friday Night Fever’s Week 8 Game of the Week features a dominant Helias (6-1) visited by a surging... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:44:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA — The True False Film Festival and Ragtag Cinema are dissolving their relationship with Columbia church The Crossing. Cinema... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:33:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Springfield Mayor Ken McClure hosted a group for a strategy session that included Governor Mike Parson in October.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 4:18:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY - The extent of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes' leg injury sustained during the team's Thursday night... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 3:07:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Sports
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 47°
4am 48°
5am 47°
6am 46°
7am 46°