COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Columbia Police Department is working with MU and The Community Improvement District to address violence in the downtown area.
"Downtown is a vibrant, energetic gathering place, and it is imperative that our residents feel safe in the area," Police Chief Geoff Jones said in a release. "Our officers will be taking additional steps downtown to address safety concerns."
According to a release, police will increase foot patrols inside and outside of downtown businesses and clear traffic and foot congestion in areas that can escalate, leading to violence.
"We don't stay out late so we don't see a lot of the chaos but anything they do would be ideal," said Nick Peth, a Columbia resident who we found walking downtown with his wife and two daughters.
CPD will also be exploring the use of temporary lighting systems and expansion of camera systems, both publicly and privately maintained.
"The District supports the work of the Columbia Police Department and will continue to work closely with officers to improve the safety of downtown," said Nickie Davis, executive director for the Downtown Community Improvement District.
Joint plans include:
- Increasing foot patrols inside and outside of downtown businesses;
- Clearing traffic congestion on Broadway caused by illegal parking, standing and pedestrian crossings in an effort to manage crowd dynamics which may lead to disturbances;
- Increasing enforcement of alcohol-related offenses;
- Developing a new protocol with CPD and MUPD where MU Alerts could be provided if a downtown area needs to be avoided;
- Exploring the use of temporary lighting systems; and
- Exploring the use and expansion of camera systems, both publicly and privately maintained.
"I've heard about some violence that's happened recently and it makes me feel safe that like they keep (improving) lighting and helping me feel safe again," said Carson Henke, a Columbia resident.