Columbia City Leaders Look To Former Violence Mitigation Strategies Task Force

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COLUMBIA, Missouri (KMIZ)

Columbia city leaders are once again turning to the 2014 Mayor’s Task Force on Community Violence in response to the recent shootings on downtown Fifth Street.

Police said shots were fired on Broadway and Fifth Street on Sunday, but no injuries were reported. On September 18, just one block away, two people were shot and slightly injured near the corner of Walnut and Fifth Streets; no arrests were made in either case.

Columbia Ward 1 City Councilor Pat Fowler and Ward 4 City Councilor Ian Thomas said the city plans to use $ 2 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding to follow the recommendations of the work group.

Police dispatch records over the past year show dozens of calls in the area, ranging from unrest to gunfire.

“These shootings are tragic and a symptom of the deep and unfair structural inequality in our community,” Ward 4 Councilor Ian Thomas said.

Thomas says he wants federal grants from ARPA to fund crime reduction strategies and highlighted effective strategies identified in 2014 by the now disbanded Mayor’s Task Force on Community Violence.

According to the City of Columbia’s FY2022 budget, it plans to allocate $ 2 million to eliminate the task force ideas, but there is no time frame for action.

Fowler agreed with Thomas’ statements.

“The community is asking us to make our ARPA funding decisions based on the database,” Fowler said. “We can and should format this data so that we can identify areas of our community that need our attention and support and share this data with our neighborhoods.”

Nickie Davis of the Downtown Community Improvement District said the shooting will also be on the agenda for the next CID board meeting on October 5.

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