COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Columbia city leaders met Monday afternoon to announce they are expanding a violent crime task force.
Columbia Mayor Brian Treece, city police chief Geoff Jones and Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco agent Frank Kelsey spoke at the announcement. The task force is being staffed by Columbia police officers, MU police officers, ATF agents and the Boone County sheriff's deputies.
You can watch a previously recorded livestream of the announcement in the media player below.
Nearly a dozen law enforcement officers will staff the violent crimes task force. The Columbia Police Department will have four officers on the task force, as well as four Boone County Sheriff's deputies, one MUPD officer and two ATF agents will also be on the task force.
The four agencies will work together daily and will have a shared workspace at the Boone County Sheriff's Department.
The announcement comes after 12 deadly shootings in Columbia in 2019.
The Columbia Police Department rearranged several positions within the department to staff the task force.
"We're taking two of our street crimes officers, detectives, and moving them into the role of working these violent crimes, which they're pretty much doing anyway. But this will improve communication, make sure that we're working more collaboratively," said Police Chief Geoff Jones.
The department already had one detective from the narcotics division on the task force and pulled one patrol officer to fill the fourth position.
"We've been in discussion about this for months since I was the interim chief we have been discussing a task force of some degree so that we could address violent crime," Jones said.
The expansion of the task force went into effect Monday.