The 2012 annual police report reveals a decrease in the number of incidents in Columbia requiring police intervention. The 438 incidents in 2012 in which police had to use force are significantly fewer than the 604 reported in 2011. The report also showed that officers drew firearms on 285 occasions this past year, a 37 percent decrease from 2011. Sergeant Barbara Buck of the Internal Affairs Division said the police department is being proactive in its efforts to reduce crime in Columbia.
“We partner with some of the schools so, during those interactions the officers would have a chance to talk with the kids about being safe.”
Buck added that the department looks at these numbers year to year in the hopes of doing the best job it can and providing the best service possible for the community.
The 2012 report indicated there were fewer than 4,000 in-custody arrests compared to the 5,700 in-custody arrests that occurred in 2011. Planning and Research Manager Chad Craig said the police department took extra measures during winter break to increase safety in Columbia.
“They had officers come in and work overtime to do special patrol throughout the city, trying to provide an additional presence," Craig said.
The report also revealed more compliments and fewer complaints for the police department than the 2011 report, something Craig said the department prides itself on in its continuing effort to increase customer service. In the 2012 report, there were 17 more compliments and 16 fewer complaints than the 2011 report.