Community members don't agree with all ideas proposed by city, police chief to curb crime

Curfew law, more police officers and downtown task force among some of those ideas

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Columbia city manager, city council and police chief held a news conference Wednesday to address crime in Columbia and talk about new initiatives to curb crime.

Police Chief Ken Burton said he plans to have a written proposal to the City Council in 30 days outlining a curfew law for Columbia. 

But not all council members agreed with the curfew idea.

Dan Roberts, director of the Columbia Police Officers Association, said a curfew won't work. 

"The suggestion of a curfew is an interesting suggestion," Roberts told ABC 17 News. "I think it means if it happened, it couldn't happen until September or October, and as they all seem to agree, summer seems to be the prime time for some of this activity."

All council members and Burton agreed they needed to make room in the budget to hire more police officers to patrol the downtown area. 

Dale Roberts said more overtime for the current officers is not going to work in the long run.

"The public is dealing with officers who have been working, you know, 14, 16 hours," Roberts said. "A person who has been on duty for 12 hours or longer is working in something of a diminished capacity." 

Councilwoman Laura Nauser proposed creating a downtown task force that would focus on preventing crime and dealing with the growing local gang problem. 

One resident told ABC 17 News he agreed with this idea, but that it should be formed by people from all over Columbia, not just those in the downtown area. 

"This task force should be a city, county as a whole task force together," James Gray said. 

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