Mayor's Task Force Suggests New Fix for Columbia Crime

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COLUMBIA - The focus shifted at the Mayor's Task Force for Community Violence meeting Thursday night.

The 13 members started with talk of a community survey to help address the recent crime in Columbia, but another idea was quickly introduced.

"We need to go to the sources and have them actually come in here where we can actually ask a question that's on our mind," said member Pamela Hardin. "What drove you to do this or in your community or what do you see happening in your surrounding areas?"

More members of the task force suggested talking to victims and those responsible for committing the crimes. Members of the force also put together a list of gun violence related deaths in Columbia since 2008. The force discussed splitting into groups to get in contact with the people and families on the list.

By hearing from the victims and those responsible for the crimes, the force hopes to see a difference in the community.

"This is the sort of mentality that says these kids grew up here, said member Jerry Taylor. "These are our kids. The way we go about it is really important if you want to have an effect on it."

"The main thing is we don't want to get that phone call," said member Chris Campbell. "We don't want to hear another parent in Columbia, Missouri getting that phone call." Campbell is a father, husband and also member of the task force.