Columbia City Council pushes forward on anti-violence task force

Vote on task force expected August 5

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Columbia City Council agreed Monday night to vote to form a youth anti-violence task force to combat the rise of violent crime across the city.

In a motion by Mayor Bob McDavid, council agreed to allow him to create the group, which could name members at the next City Council meeting on August 5.

"Just last night, a 17-year-old died," McDavid said in a pre-council meeting. "That's just not acceptable."

The sense of urgency for action was clearer than at any point this summer Monday night, after Treveon Marshall was gunned down in McKee Park late Sunday night.

But any changes recommended by an anti-violence task force wouldn't come for months.

"This situation of violence does not lend itself to simple knee-jerk solutions," Trapp said. "I wish there was a simple answer. If there was, I'd do something. But these are - it's generational in scope and endemic across our communities."

Council members Laura Nauser (Ward 5) and Michael Trapp (Ward 2) will be in charge of organizing the task force.

"To really move the needle on this issue and to save lives will take the whole community effort," Trapp told ABC 17 News.

McDavid and Trapp agreed that the task force should organize topical-specific meetings. McDavid recommended topics such as curfews, early childhood intervention and law enforcement relationships.

McDavid also requested a year-to-date report from the City Manager's office on violent gun crimes by the next meeting.

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