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CPD doubles up officers in patrol vehicles

Columbia police officials said there’s a new normal — putting two police officers in every patrol car for every shift. The changes come after the recent violence against law enforcement.

“The one-officer unit is a thing of the past. I think that a few weeks ago, I actually asked the patrol commander to double up on all patrol elements that are there. So, you’ll see two officers in virtually every car,” said Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton.

Burton said after the violence in Ferguson, the department started experimenting with two officers in each cruiser during the night shift. The recent violent incidents against law enforcement over the past few weeks have prompted Burton to put two officers in each car for every shift. However, the new policy does come with its issues.

“Longer response times for lower priority calls. So, if you’ve got a barking dog call, it’s going to be a while before we get there because we have fewer officers. They’re doubled up,” said Burton.

Burton said he’s gotten complaints about the longer response times for lower priority calls but said those slower times are the new reality.

ABC 17 News talked to Jefferson City Police officials about CPS’s new policy. JCPD said it did have a discussion about doubling officers and has decided it’s unnecessary at this point. However, we’re told that could change in the future.

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