2014 City of Columbia budget calls for 3 more police officers

POSTED: 07:36 PM CDT Jul 26, 2013    UPDATED: 07:55 PM CDT Jul 26, 2013 
COLUMBIA, Mo. -

Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes announced the $414 million budget for the 2014 fiscal year.

"The budget is finally balanced," said Matthes at a Friday press conference.

No sales or property tax cuts were made, and there will be an increase in price for parking permits. In return for a higher-cost parking permit, there will be a free bus pass. Matthes is excited about this new innovative plan.

Crime was brought up in the meeting Friday morning, with Matthes announcing the plan to hire two new police officers and one sergeant. The police department's new budget will be $19.8 million.

The three officers will patrol neighborhoods that have a high volume of calls. 

Matthes mentioned how this year, numbers show crime rates have fallen, and Columbia is safer than it has been in past years. However, the public does not agree and he feels these three officers will help keep the city's neighborhoods safer

The Columbia Police Officers' Association announced Thursday that members feel 38 additional officers are needed - a plan that Matthes says is inaccurate.

"[The CPOA's] math is riddled with errors," he told the media.

The entire 2014 fiscal year budget is available online.