Community Violence Task Force holds update meeting

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Mayor's Task Force on Community Violence will hold a community update meeting Monday to discuss policy implementation.

The task force submitted recommendations to combat public violence in November 2014. The city council then requested an update, which was received in October 2015.

Monday's meeting is the fourth and final update meeting regarding the task force's policies. Each of the meetings has centered around a different pillar of community violence. The four pillars are prevention, intervention, enforcement, and re-entry. 

Task force co-chair and Columbia City Council member Michael Trapp said the meetings are used to update the public, not to ask for more recommendations. 

“This is really an update of what’s been done," Trapp said. "The task force made us recommendations in November of [2014], and so we’re not gonna revisit those. What we’re looking at is where are we at in regards to implementing those.”

The task force plans to read each recommendation it made, followed by a summary of the progress the city achived. The community will then have a chance to speak and discuss whether those actions were adequate. 

Trapp said some people believed the task force should have moved faster, but he thought the situation called for being thourough.

"Crime and violence is a chronic issue, it’s not a crisis," Trapp said. "I think people who look at the issue carefully are gonna be pleased with what we have been able to accomplish.”

The meeting Monday night could also feature discussion about a community symposium on race relations. However, no date has been set.

“We want to balance having a significant event with moving quickly," Trapp said. "So, we’re taking a little bit of time to make sure that we do the proper planning, that it’s impactful, that it leaves people changed and more open to the idea of us growing together as one community and working together is a positive way, rather than a forum for disagreement and conflict."

Trapp expects the symposium to happen before the end of the year.