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Police announce changes for traffic officers, patrol unit

Columbia police confirmed changes will be made to the department’s patrol schedules in late February, based on months of study by a consultant group. The findings presented in October showed the two-officer patrol will not work in the long term, based on the call volume.

After collecting input from staff, officials announced the patrol unit’s officers will stay on 12-hour shifts, with the addition of an extra “power shift” recommended by the consultants. That involves 10-hour shifts from Wednesday to Saturday, 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.

People’s shifts will also change two hours earlier, the downtown unit will report directly to the patrol supervisors, and specific officers will be assigned to traffic within the patrol division, but they will also be available for other calls as needed.

The study from the Matrix Consulting Group cost $48,000. It came from assets and funds seized by police during investigations. The city council also approved $12,500 in mid-November, for another study specifically on the department’s criminal investigations.

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