Columbia police say extra patrols near Douglass Park are working

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Columbia police said Tuesday night they are keeping extra patrols near Douglass Park after the recent violence centered around the holiday weekend. On Wednesday they also released new totals from the combined efforts.

It has been a week since the last shooting in Columbia, which was preceded by 10 other shootings.

Since the increased patrols started after the July 4 weekend, Columbia police have made 96 traffic stops and more than 50 other contacts. On Wednesday the department said this resulted in 16 felony arrests and recovered five guns.

On Tuesday night, Douglass Park-goers told ABC 17 News they think evenings are more quiet, and it is a direct result of what the police department is doing.

Now there are two officers in each patrol car, and police have been in the park for the Moonlight Hoops event.

Boone County sheriff's deputies and members of Highway Patrol along with MU police have been helping out. Columbia officers have also changed their schedules and worked longer hours. The saturation efforts include the patrol, street crimes, and K9 units, along with members of the SWAT, and the investigative and vice, narcotics and organized crime units.

Columbia police told ABC 17 News they are still deciding what direction they want to take for the future.

A lieutenant with the department said the saturation effort last week had positive results and having more police on the streets has been very beneficial for the community. But because of low staffing numbers, it makes it difficult for the department, which still has to respond to the rest of the city.

Stay with ABC 17 News and for more details as they become available.

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