Columbia Police Department kicks off its first community beat meeting

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department beat commanders hosted their first beat meeting with the northeast Columbia community for the Building Stronger Beats series.

The Building Stronger Beats meetings are held to help residents and police officers who are located in specific areas of Columbia work together to ensure stronger and inclusive neighborhoods. 

At the meeting the police officers and residents discussed emergency calls from residents, building personal relationships with community members, survey results the city collected from residents and preventing car theft. 

One resident, John Becker, said he experienced shootings in his neighborhood often. Becker said the meeting gave him peace of mind.

"It helps to know that they're on top of the situation," Becker said. "They're doing everything that they can do."

Lt. Geoffrey Jones is a beat commander for the northeast side of Columbia and the Community Outreach Movement. Jones said it is important to build personal connections and relationship with residents.

"It's just about open lines of communication with them and making sure everyone in the community is on the same page," Jones said.

Residents were able to ask questions and voice their concerns toward the end of the meeting.

The next beat meeting will be next Tuesday.