Police Chief Ken Burton talks to the Downtown Leadership Council about downtown safety

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COLUMBIA--Members of the Downtown Leadership Council gathered Tuesday afternoon to discuss gun violence and downtown safety with Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton. 

There have been several incidents downtown within the past month, including three incidents of gunfire three consecutive weekends. 

Burton said problem areas lie between 10th Street and Hitt Street and 10th and Broadway. 

Some of the possible solutions the chief offered were more officers downtown, for businesses to help identify trespassers, and to have SkyCop surveillance technology.

According to the SkyCop technology website, SkyCop is a device that works to detect disturbances and alert officers immediately while also providing the look of a police presence with bright lights. 

"It's a need out there, and it is all about the money," Burton said.  

Burton says the extra surveillance would help provide video for evidence and be able to be used for public help to identify suspects through Crimestoppers. 

In the past, organizations like the ACLU have raised concern for over-monitoring with increased downtown surveillance. 

Frequent downtown visitor Rachel Ludwig thinks the increased security like SkyCops could be positive for Columbia. 

"I think it would be beneficial for the students and everyone coming downtown to have more security," said Ludwig. 

Burton says the issue of safety downtown comes from disorder, intoxication, and crowd gathering. 

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