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.
The Columbia Police Department received multiple grants to help better patrol roads for drunk drivers and youths not wearing seat belts. The grants, provided by the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Traffic & Highway Safety Division, will go towards enforcing youth seat belt use and sobriety checkpoints.
Columbia Police Traffic Unit Supervisor Sergeant Curtis Perkins said the goal of the grant provided for the youth seat belt enforcement is to have a visible presence.
Police are working with private towing companies to remove stalled and abandoned vehicles to make way for snow plows. The Columbia Police Department said they've received more than 180 calls in Boone County since Thursday morning. Calling the police station is not recommended as a way to locate your towed vehicle.
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.”
78-year-old Robert Hill of Warsaw was the man killed by another patient at Truman Veterans Hospital on Friday, Columbia police spokesperson Sgt. Joe Bernhard said in a release.
Bernhard said Hill was involved in an assault at about 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1. He died from the injuries he sustained in the assault. The release said no weapons were involved in the assault, but didn't go into further detail.
Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid plans to run for a second term and is putting extra importance on issues that he says still need resolving. McDavid thinks transportation is the key to improving Columbia’s economy in the coming years.
Chief Ken Burton announced the new Deputy Chief of the Columbia Police Department this morning. Captain Dianne Bernhard, a 20 year police veteran will now be responsible for overseeing the work of the police department's three main bureaus: Patrol, Operations Support and Administrative.