Members of the Columbia Mayor’s Taskforce on Community Violence have agreed on a plan to find out more about tackling violence in the city.
The task force was created in response to a number of high-profile crimes in Columbia over the summer. Members will ask Columbia police to come to their next meeting in two weeks to outline the number of shots fired incidents in the city over the past two years.
Second Ward Council Member Michael Trapp co-chairs the task force. He says understanding the most violent crimes will help the task force set up its framework for moving forward: “If we can understand the most serious incidents, then that might lead us to look at a focus," he said. "We don’t want to focus on solutions that don’t apply to the people who are out killing each other.”
The task force has about 14 months to make recommendations to the city council, but several members say they want to take action now. Trapp says the group needs to focus first on researching violence in the community: “It’s really a good idea to know where you’re going before you start driving there,” he said.
Members also suggested research questions and discussed how to prevent violence among young people.