Protesters and law enforcement officersmay have hoped for calm. But reaction to news of the grand jury’s decision to not indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of Michael Brown ended in arson, looting and tear gas.

Violent crime decreases in Columbia in 2013

Feb 1, 2014
Derek Bridges / Flickr

The Columbia Police Department released its Uniform Crime Reporting data for 2013. The report shows a violent crime index of 3.76, which means there are 3.76 violent crimes committed per 1,000 people in Columbia. The index hasn’t been this low since 1985. Columbia PD has had to adjust to a shortage of available staff. Public Information officer, Latisha Stroer, says an increase in retirements has played a role.

“We’re at the lowest number of officers that we have been since 1993. We’ve had the highest number of retirements last year, we have a large number of officers retiring again this year. Every department nationwide has had problems with recruiting officers, new officers, and people wanting to come into this profession,” Stroer said.