The Columbia Police Department is holding town hall meetings throughout the month with residents. Lt. Eric Hughes led the “Building Stronger Beats” meeting Tuesday night at New Haven Elementary School for residents of southeast Columbia.
Hughes discussed the mission and structure of the department and shared crime prevention tips. The meeting was sparsely attended, but Hughes says the community has responded well to the session.
“It’s an opportunity to see for them to say what their issues are, and it’s an opportunity for us to let them know what we see the issues are,” Hughes says. “And hopefully between what we see and they see we can meet middle ground somewhere and come up with a solution to fix those issues.”
Joe Weston, a resident of southeast Columbia, says he has been pleased with police communication in his area and wanted to come to this meeting to get to know the police.
“We had a special event meeting with our subdivision and the police department a couple of years ago and they helped us stop some break-ins,” Weston says.
Weston says the residents of his sub-division enjoy hearing crime prevention tips and knowing which officers they can call when they need help.
The biggest crime issue in southeast Columbia is currently theft from unlocked cars, Hughes says.
The next meeting will be at West Middle School on Thursday at 7 p.m.