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Columbia officials looking at new ways to fund public safety


Columbia City Officials say it is crucial to look at other ways to secure public safety after 60 percent of the voters rejected Proposition One in Columbia on Election Day last Tuesday.
The Proposition suggested an increased sales and property tax to hire 40 extra Police Officers and 15 firefighters. 

The city of Columbia has only 1.4 Police Officers for every 1000 residents, which falls far below the Department of Justice's national standards at 2.5 Police Officers for every 1000 residents. 

Dale Roberts, executive director of the Columbia Police Officers Association, says it is necessary to look for other ways to pay for public safety, because the current situation makes it difficult to lower crime.

"What does that mean on the street? It means our Police Officers are trapped in a reactionary mode. They respond to crimes, but they do not have the man power or the time to prevent crime.
So it is a serious issue," says Dale Roberts.
The council hasn't had time yet to look at other financial possibilities for increasing public safety, after Proposition One was rejected Tuesday.

But Ward 2 Council member, Michael Trapp says in an email to KBIA:
“For at least the short term we are going to have to make do with what we have.
We have been adding some officers each budget year to keep up with growth and will continue to do that as we are able.” 

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