Columbia Police Alter Patrol Despite Crime

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department altered the amount of proactive patrol cars over the weekend despite recent shootings.  These "proactive patrol" refer to the patrol cars that drive around recent "hotspots" of shots-fired incidents and other crime and take preemptive actions.  These proactive patrol are there to prevent any kind of disturbance.

The Columbia Police Department "borrowed" some reactive patrollers and made them temporary proactive patrol.  The "reactive patrol" are the everyday responders to 911 calls to a police dispatcher.  These "borrowed" reactive patrol began acting in proactive or preventative ways after the shots-fired event at Chuck E. Cheese's in February. In order to help protect the popular crime "hotspots", the Columbia Police Department asked these patrol to help with proactive action.  And now these "borrowed" patrol are finished with their proactive duties and now go back to reactive.

Columbia Police Information Officer Stephanie Drouin explained what exactly happens with the updated patrol duties.

"The amount of officers patrolling is and has remained the same for a while now," said Drouin.  "The number of shots-fired callings have gone down.  If they should go back up in the future, we'll do the same thing; we'll move officers from patrol and from other units to help the situation."

People believe community involvement could be the key to continually improve safety.  Gary Kespohl is the 3rd Ward City Council member in Columbia.  He thinks many incidents could have been prevented with proper neighborhood cooperation.

A 17-year-old boy, Bryan Rankin died after a 15-year-old kid shot him on the morning of April 7. The shooting occured in a neighborhood in Kespohl's district.  The prescence of police cars patrolling or even a community watch could have deterred this crime and others.

Lisa Arnold live a few blocks away from the location of Rankin's shooting.  She says despite the supposed patrolling, she hasn't seen any police cars driving by.

"I'm outside a lot," said Arnold.  "They haven't increased up our road at all.  I stay up on my street, no less than three or four blocks away, and I haven't seen any patrol cars, day or night."

Since the start of a proactive patrol strategy, the Columbia Police Department has arrested 30 people.