Columbia community members invited to presentation on violence

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COLUMBIA – The Mayor’s Task Force on Community Violence hosted an open forum on Wednesday for Columbia community members see what the task force had been working on.

Mike Trapp, second ward city councilman, presented the progress the task force has made toward reducing violence in the city. City council members and members of the community came out to hear the presentation. 

Irwin Schneider, president of Columbia Neighborhood Watch, was in attendance. Neighborhood watch works to provide information and assistance to encourage neighborhood involvement to be effective, watchful neighbors with the goal of reducing crime. 

"Even neighborhoods that don't have much in the need of crime," Schneider said. "There are always people out there who are looking to do damage or take what's not theirs. "

Mary Ratliff, president of the Missouri chapter of NAACP, said the meeting was a good first start.

"I would like to have seen more people here," Ratliff said. "I'll be looking forward to improvement and getting the information out to the community because they need to know that we are working with the city to fix these issues."

“In general it is better to take our time,” Trapp said. “Versus rushing to treat it like it’s a crisis."

Schneider said he's not surprised the meeting did not cover everything that was planned because reducing violence is a huge undertaking. 

The meeting only allowed for people to cover one of the four pillars the task force is working on. A date for another meeting has not been set.