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Columbia holds public forum to discuss community violence

Bob McDavid

The mayor’s Crime Task Force for Community Violence is reaching out to Columbia residents to discuss solutions for stopping community violence. The task force held the first of three public forums this week at the Department of Health and Human Services building Monday. Panel members, including Mayor Bob McDavid, Kansas City Mayor Sly James and two other Columbia educators expressed their views on crime in the community and listened to suggestions from more than 100 Columbia residents in attendance.   

Mayor McDavid said afterward that the forum was important to integrate opinions about solutions to violence from all parts of the city.

“There are some issues that are very important to some groups, and other groups don’t even think about them, so it’s important that we all hear all the points of view,” McDavid said.

Residents gave extensive feedback to the panelists and task force members at the forum.  Some residents heard what they wanted to hear, but others, including Columbia resident Jeannine Craig, left the forum unsure if any action will be taken to reduce violence in the community.

 “Twenty years ago, I sat in on a meeting a lot like this and it was exactly the same thing,” Craig said afterward.

The task force is set to hold two more forums with specific audiences later this week.  Parents will be welcome to a forum Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Progressive Missionary Baptist Church. Youth ages 15 to 30 will be invited to a forum Friday night at 6 p.m. at the Columbia Armory.

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