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Columbia City Council to vote on temporary housing for first responders

COLUMBIA Mo. (KMIZ)

The Columbia City Council is expected to vote on a resolution Monday that would authorize temporary housing for first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agreement would give the Columbia Police Department and the Columbia Fire Department the option to stay at Stephens College, should the need arise.

Stephens College has designated certain dormitories to provide the housing.

Dale Roberts, the Columbia Police Officers’ Association executive director said it's a nice gesture from the city.

"Our officers work 10 hours a day, they interact with people from pretty much every cross-section of society in their line of work, social distancing isn't necessarily an option," Roberts said. "So, the opportunity to spend the night away from home if they are concerned about the possibility of having been exposed is just a great option to have."

The agreement is set to expire on June 1 but the resolution would give John Glascock, the Columbia city manager, the ability to extend the agreement with compliance from Stephens College.

"I know the officers have been concerned all along about, you know, 'If I'm exposed, you know, am I taking something home to my family?' And if you don't know that you're positive until 10 days after it happens so it's, other than just not going home, it's hard to prevent that potential secondary exposure," Roberts said.

The agreement would come at no cost to the city.

"It's a great offer, it's just another in a series of, you know, expressions of support from the community and from local government for first responders," Roberts said.

We reached out to Stephens College for comment but have not heard back.

The Columbia City Council meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Monday.

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Zach Boetto

Zach Boetto started working with ABC 17 News in June after graduating from California State University-Channel Islands with a degree in organizational communication. He reports weekday evenings and weekend mornings.

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