CPD releases annual internal affairs report

CPD external complaint numbers are up 10 percent

COLUMBIA, Mo. - UPDATE 5:00 p.m.: Columbia Police Department's external complaint numbers have increased by ten percent.

ABC 17 spoke to several people today about their thoughts on the CPD and some did not have good things to say. However, they are using new technology to help their image.

Sergeant Brian Tate told us, "I encourage the complainant to come in and talk to me first-hand, some do. some don't."

There were three sustained complaints last year. One was a failure of a law enforcement follow-up, another was a neglect of duty, and the third was for discourteous or disrespectful or discriminatory treatment. Officers were disciplined in all three of these instances.

Sergeant Tate told us, "Verbal-warning to termination, it ranges on a scale and it all depends on the severity of the offense."

The new technology that could help their image is body cameras. They remove a lot of the hearsay in complaint cases. Officers and complainants can see what happened, which can be helpful in reversing any miscommunication. 

The CPD says they take their complaints very seriously. "At anytime, if they feel like they were wrong, or they see something that doesn't quite look right to them, they're welcome to come down here and make an official complaint, anonymously, they can do it through the website, call me," said Sergeant Tate.

ABC 17 spoke to council member Matt Pitzer today and he believes that community policing would heighten the collaboration of the police and the community, which could bring the complaint numbers down.

ORIGINAL: The Columbia Police Department released their annual internal affairs report on Wednesday. 

According to the report, police were dispatched to a total of 147,660 calls/incidents in 2017. It was a 2.1% decrease from 2016 where officers responded to 150,874 total calls. 

The report also shows officers made 5,680 arrests in 2017, a 17.4% increase from 2016. 

When responding to resistance, officers had to use pepper spray 18 times and deployed canine bites three times in 2017. 

Officers used a taster on 57 occasions but only deployed it 22 times. Police were also forced to fire their weapons in defense on three occasions. 

The reports shows the department received 52 complaints from citizens alleging police misconduct. Of those complaints, 25 were unfounded and five were proven incidents of misconduct. 

Inside the department, there were 36 internal complaints of misconduct. Of those complaints, two were unfounded and 24 were proven incidents of misconduct. Officers said the top three complaints were, officers exceeding the posted speed limit by more than 20 mph, insubordination, and taking appropriate law enforcement action. 

To view the full report, click here.


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