Columbia Mayor Proposes Adding Police Officers

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COLUMBIA - Mayor Bob McDavid addressed the city's recent violent crimes at a press conference Monday. McDavid proposed adding 35 more police officers.

McDavid said the troubled youth and gang activity is a big problem in Columbia.

"We all understand that safety is a core primal function of the government," said McDavid. "And there is a solution for crime in Columbia."

McDavid said his proposal of adding police officers would help with patrol and safety.

Each police officer costs $100,000 to recruit and train. Adding 35 more police officers would require $3.5 million.

McDavid said an increase in property tax would be dedicated to the Columbia Police Department.

"Our current police department is understaffed," said McDavid. "Making Columbia safer is a choice but we have to pay for it."

Currently, only 6% of personal property tax goes to the city, mostly to the school district. However, a 3% increase in personal property tax bill would help recruit and train police officers.

McDavid said he hopes to see his proposal on a ballot in November.

If the proposal passes, Columbia could see new police officers by 2016.

McDavid also addressed additional initiatives to reduce crime in the city.