Columbia violence task force holds public forum

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COLUMBIA - The Crime Task Force on Community Violence held a public meeting for members of the Columbia community to voice their concerns. 

The task force prepared a handout highlighting its primary areas of concern to the community members present. Its areas of concern are prevention, intervention, enforcement, and reentry.

Community members stressed prevention as one of their primary concerns. One citizen suggested law enforcement should be active participants in the communities they patrol. The members also stressed the city to provide community after school activities to prevent minors from engaging in crime. 

Mayor Sly James of Kansas City was one of the key speakers in the community discussion and encouraged people at the meeting to follow through with what they talked about.

"If they leave this room without a commitment to action, then it's going to be 'warm soup' again in another three, four, or five years," said James referring to a previous comment a community member made about the government not listening to the citizens, calling it "the same soup warmed over" in response to government action.

The task force will have another meeting on Thursday at the Progressive Baptist Church from 7 to 9 p.m. Food will be provided for participants.