Members of the Columbia Mayor’s Taskforce on Community Violence have agreed on a plan to find out more about tackling violence in the city.
The task force was created in response to a number of high-profile crimes in Columbia over the summer. Members will ask Columbia police to come to their next meeting in two weeks to outline the number of shots fired incidents in the city over the past two years.
The Columbia Police Department is continuing to investigate a shooting in downtown Columbia Saturday night. Shortly after midnight on Saturday morning, three young men were shot near the intersection of 10th Street and Broadway. While the incident has some concerned about the safety of Columbia’s downtown area, a video of the shooting captured by a bystander has sparked a reaction from many residents.
If Columbia seems less dangerous these days, there may be a reason. Data from The Columbia Police Department show that crime rates have decreased since 2011 with the exception to reported rape and sexual assaults.
Columbia police have looked at past crimes and trends in the city, and have adapted to prevent future crimes. Columbia Police Department Spokesperson Latisha Stroer recalls recent changes.
“We had some violence that occurred in and around Douglas Park,” Stroer said. “We had two-man units placed there to help this relationship with the community and that area.”
The murders of three Columbia, Mo. men last spring, two of whom were teenagers, sparked outrage from concerned residents and lead to an assessment of the effectiveness of at-risk youth crime prevention programs.
It’s been six months since the shootings, and the community has had time to heal and reflect on the meaning of this tragedy.
39 year-old Lamont Sargent was shot and killed in March, and within a month, two 17-year-old Columbia residents, DeAudre Johnson and Bryan Rankin were also murdered.