A college education is no longer a requirement for new police officers in Columbia.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that the city now mandates a high school diploma instead of at least 30 hours of college education — the equivalent of an associate's degree. City officials had discussed the change for some time before taking action in August.
City Manager Mike Matthes first noted during his 2018 budget address that lowering the education requirements will make it easier for the city to attract applicants for the police force. The city has budgeted money to pay for more than 170 police officers, but struggles to keep those positions filled.
Matthes said decreasing the educational requirements would allow people such as "veterans returning from Afghanistan or officers from other departments" to join.