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Columbia Police, Other Boone County Law Enforcement Expand Collaborative Gun Violence Task Force

Nathan Lawrence

Columbia’s police are joining forces with several other law enforcement agencies to redouble efforts on a task force combating gun violence in mid-Missouri.

Mayor Brian Treece announced the partnership at Columbia City Hall Monday afternoon.

The gun violence task force already existed, but this new arrangement will significantly increase its size. Importantly, Treece said, the task force will help empower Columbia police to collaborate with officers outside the city.

“We know crime does not stop at the city limits,” Treece said, “and while our officers and detectives on the ground constantly share information, this initiative expands cooperation and communication among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.”

The expansion of this gun violence task force comes after a particularly dark recent history of gun violence in Columbia. Columbia police say they recorded a dozen firearm homicides in 2019, including five gun deaths in a period of less than two weeks last September.

Nathan Lawrence is an editor, documentary filmmaker and data journalist.