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CPD night shift back to one officer per patrol car

Columbia police on the night shift are back to one officer in each patrol car.

CPD confirmed it made the change this week after announcing back in September there would be two officers in every car for officer safety.

ABC 17 News crews were on scene of an armed home invasion Wednesday night and noticed responding officers only had one person in each car. So ABC 17 News reached out Thursday to ask if CPD had changed its protocol.

CPD Public Information OFficer Bryana Larimer told ABC 17 News the department made the change due to a decrease in calls.

Back in September, Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton told ABC 17 News in light of events in Ferguson and other violence against officers across the nation, two person units were going to be a new normal for the department.

“It’s just too dangerous to let one officer out there by themselves,” Burton said in an ABC 17 News interview on September 8, 2015. “Back up is too far away, so I feel better with having two officers in the car.”

ABC 17 News asked what the change back to one officer per patrol car meant for officer safety since that was the main reason for switching to the two office patrol cars in the first place.

CPD said officer safety is still important and that some officers may be riding two officers per car if they will be in an area that typically sees a lot of police activity.

Larimer said the command staff will be talking about that on a weekly basis, but for now the department will be back to one officer patrols.

ABC 17 News had other questions to ask about the change, including how this changes response times. ABC 17 News reached out to the assistant chief of operations for more insight and information about the decision, but was told inquiries could only be made to the Public Information Officer.

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