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Columbia Police Department
Abbreviation CPD
Agency overview
Employees 190
Annual budget $19,000,000
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Size 60.4 sq mi (156.4 km²)
Population 100,733
Legal jurisdiction City of Columbia, Mo
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters 600 East Walnut
Columbia, Mo
Agency executive Kenneth M. Burton,
Chief of Police


The Columbia Police Department, also known as the CPD, is the principal law enforcement agency of the City of Columbia, Missouri, in the United States. The CPD protects a metropolitan population of 160,000 with 156 sworn officers.

Contents

Mission[1]

The mission of the Columbia Police Department is to reduce crime and improve public safety by enforcing the law, solving problems, and encouraging citizen responsibility for community safety and quality of life.

To succeed in this mission the following values are upheld: To demonstrate integrity in all actions, because freedom and justice depend on law enforcement being carried out by people with high integrity. To treat all people with respect, because responsibility and involvement can only be encouraged in those who are treated with respect. To create partnerships, because lasting solutions require identifying and solving problems with the community.

Divisions

The Columbia Police Department is made up of seven divisions.

Patrol Division[2]

The City of Columbia is divided into 16 different patrol beats, patrolled by 96 officers assigned to five shifts. The Patrol Division is commanded by a captain, who is assisted by two Patrol Lieutenants that serve at shift commanders. Each of the five shifts are under direct supervision of sergeants. Two Canine Teams are also assigned to the Patrol Division and aid the officers in drug searches, tracks for individuals and property, and protection.

In 2007, units on patrol responded to 142,002 total incidents; of these incidents 12,483 criminal investigations were made and 8,362 individuals were arrested.

In May of 2009, the CPD formed a special downtown patrol unit due to increased criminal activity in the Downtown and Columbia Mall areas. Using Ash Street, Providence Road, Elm Street and Waugh Street as borders, the new unit will take a strong stance on aggressive panhandling, graffiti, liquor law violations and exceeding occupancy limits at bars and restaurants, in order to prevent these activities from becoming a problem and requiring a larger police presence[3].

In late 2009, geographic policing was instituted. Instead of dividing the city into 16 separate beat areas that the dozen or so officers on duty have to cover, the city is divided into four quadrants that officers must patrol within. Under the new system each distinct level of management, from officer up to captain, will have to answer for incidents within their areas, theoretically reducing crime.[4]

Community Operations Division[5]

The Community Operations Division is made up of the following sub-divisions: the Traffic Unit, Community Services Unit, Youth Services Unit, and Reserve Unit.

Professional Standards Division[6]

The Professional Standards Unit (P.S.U.) became operational in February 2008 as a result of the department's desire to bring internal investigations and employee recognition to current national standards. The members of the P.S.U. provide a transparent investigative function for those incidences which result in compliments or complaints about actions of department employees, and monitor and administrate the Employee Recognition, Mandatory Review and Early Intervention programs in a manner that is fair to all parties involved.

The P.S.U. consists of a sergeant and a lieutenant who are responsible for the daily functions of the unit. These individuals have investigative experience and have received specialized training in the area of internal affairs investigations. The PSU is commanded by the Executive Assistant to the Chief of Police and reports directly to the Chief of Police.

Personnel Development Division[7]

The Personnel Development Division, in conjunction with the Columbia City Human Resources Department, is responsible for all new hires to the CPD. The P.D.U. also supervises all department instructors and ensures that all department in-service training adheres to Missouri POST standards. The unit also supervises the Field Training program which is responsible for recruit officer training.

Investigative Division

The Investigative Division is made up of four units: the Domestic Violence Enforcement Unit, the Major Crimes Unit, the Narcotics Unit, and the Street Crimes Unit.

Domestic Violence Enforcement Unit (DOVE)[8]

The Domestic Violence Enforcement Unit (DOVE) began operating at the Columbia Police Department on February 2, 1998. The DOVE Unit was formed and funded through the STOP Violence Against Women Grant and is a specialized unit composed of three investigators, a victim advocate, and two assistant prosecuting attorneys. The unit is composed of detectives from the Columbia Police Department and the Boone County Sheriff's Department. The unit's mission is to decrease the level of domestic violence by investigating domestic violence cases, promoting deterrence of violence, assisting victims, and interrupting the cycle of violence.
To accomplish its mission, the DOVE Unit investigates domestic violence incidents in Columbia and Boone County, assists the prosecuting attorney's office in prosecuting the offenders, aids victims in obtaining restraining orders, and assists with the arrest of offenders based on active warrants. The DOVE Unit also assists victims, coordinates with other agencies, trains officers in and around Boone County, and promotes community education. The intended result of these activities is to deter and hold offenders accountable, empower victims, and enhance domestic violence reporting and enforcement.

Major Crimes Unit[9]

The Major Crimes Unit is composed of a sergeant, eleven investigators and three civilian employees. The unit is assigned to investigate major crimes against persons (homicide, robbery, sexual assault, missing persons, aggravated assault, and child and elderly abuse) along with major felony property crimes (burglary, theft, fraud, forgery, embezzlement, arson, vehicle thefts, credit card crimes and computer crimes).
The Major Crimes Unit is also responsible for investigating fires within the City of Columbia. Investigators are responsible for making on-the-scene assessments as to the origin and cause of the fire and providing investigative assistance to the Columbia Fire Department. The unit works in conjunction with pawnshops and secondhand dealers in the recovery of victims' property and the identification of suspects dealing with stolen property
The Major Crimes Unit actively assists other units within the Columbia Police Department. On a weekly basis the Major Crimes Unit assists the Narcotics Unit in serving search warrants and serving arrest warrants for the D.O.V.E. Unit. The Major Crimes Unit is also actively involved with the Boone County Juvenile Office, the Boone County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN), The Women's Shelter, Sexual Trauma/Assault Response Team (START), the Rainbow House and the R.E.S.P.O.N.S.E. Team.
The Major Crimes Unit also oversees the department's Forensic Evidence Team. The Forensic Evidence Team is responsible for assisting both the Patrol Unit and Major Crimes Unit with the collection and preservation of evidence from crime scenes. Presently the Forensic Evidence Team is made up of twelve officers and investigators.

Narcotics Unit[10]

The Narcotics Unit is composed of detectives assigned to investigate activity involving the illegal selling, buying and possession of dangerous drugs and narcotics. Detectives assigned to the Narcotics Unit receive extensive training in the area of narcotics investigation and utilize various investigative techniques and methods including surveillance, undercover buys, search warrants, and use of confidential informants. Detectives present cases to the Boone County Prosecutor’s Office as well as the United States Attorney’s Office.

Street Crimes Unit[11]

Formed in 2007 after an increase in violent crime, the Street Crimes Unit is composed of four officers commanded by a captain. This unit seeks to arrest career criminals and patrol crime "hot spots" within Columbia. Other duties include combating street level “open air” drug dealing, sssisting Major Crimes Unit in locating and apprehending felony suspects, identifying and arresting individuals who are engaged in criminal gang activity, and traffic enforcement in high crime areas.

Records Division

The Records Division is charged with keeping valuable records and statistics regarding incidents within Columbia, as well as processing paperwork on all individuals arrested and securing evidence gathered by the field officers.

Special Teams

Special Weapons and Tactics

Formerly known as the Special Tactics and Response Team (STAR), the Columbia SWAT Team was created in 1976 after a need was determined for a specialized team trained in tactics beyond ordinary police response. The original team consisted of 11 officers: two teams of four officers directed by two sergeants. Equipment consisted of blue jumpsuits, boots, soft body armor, .223 Remington 700 bolt action sniper rifles, Remington 870 12 gauge shotguns, Colt AR-15 A1 semi automatic rifles, a 37mm gas gun and several surplus gas masks[12]. Equipment has been updated considerably since that early period.

The SWAT Team is divided into four sub-units: rescue, containment, arrest, and sniper. Within the inner perimeter of an incident, the rescue unit will affect rescues on any hostages that may be held by a suspect, while the arrest unit will incapacitate or arrest the suspect in question. The outer perimeter has two units: the sniper unit is responsible for observation of the scene and precision incapacitation of any suspects, while the containment unit is responsible for security of the scene and restriction of the incident from any threats. A tactical medic is also on site handle provide medical needs[13].

Neighborhood Response Team[14]

The Neighborhood Response Team (N.R.T.) was created in 1999 to attempt to correct concerns residents in the central city had/have. These concerns of residents in the area include illegal drug activity, trash, abandoned vehicles and dilapidated housing. Citations are issued for conditions that are observed to not be up to city code (roof deterioration, peeling paint, debris on property, etc) and the N.R.T. is tasked with following up on those citations.

Members of the N.R.T. include the following city agencies: the Environmental Health division of the Health Department, the Protective Inspection division of the Public Works Department, the Police Department and the Department of Public Communications.

Crisis Negotiation Team[15]

Created in 1976, the Crisis Negotiation Team, originally called the Hostage Negotiation Team, is tasked with responding to hostage or emotionally distressed subject events.

Fifteen officers are currently assigned to the Crisis Negotiation Team. A Captain commands the team with the support of two sergeants; during an incident one sergeant supervises any negotiations, while the other is in change of obtaining intelligence. The remainder of the team is made up of two equipment technicians and ten negotiators. The larger team size allows for the team to split into two separate teams should two different incidents occur. It also allows for continual relief should a negotiation become extended for several hours or days. To date, the longest C.N.T. negotiation was twelve hours.

All negotiators undergo the basic crisis negotiation course from Northwestern University in Illinois, as well as an advanced crisis negotiation course after two years of experience. Commanders undergo the Critical Incident Commander's course from Northwestern. Members also undergo additional training put on by various Federal agencies. Bimonthly training consists of practicing negotiation skills in front of other team members; additionally, every year the C.N.T. and SWAT teams train together in simulated exercises.

Additional duties performed by the C.N.T. are: protecting VIPs, assisting with mass arrests, and supporting SWAT in serving high risk warrants.

Columbia Police Department in the news

On July 7, 2009 The Columbia City Council voted to create a Police Review Board. The nine member board, chosen by the City Council, will focus on complaints brought forward by both the general public and law enforcement officers and will be staffed by Columbia residents[16].

References

Downtown Cops on a Roll

CPD Info Online

External links








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