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(AUDIO): Law enforcement will be a topic of discussion at Columbia’s city council meeting

(AUDIO): Law enforcement will be a topic of discussion at Columbia’s city council meeting

Columbia city manager De’Carlon Seewood (2023 file photo courtesy of city of Columbia website)

Columbia’s city manager says he supports Columbia’s police officers. 75 percent of Columbia’s general fund is for public safety, under the last budget proposed by city manager De’Carlon Seewood and approved by the city council.

“In our current climate, there are a lot of outside voices that distrust law enforcement. And that doesn’t mean that the city takes that same stance. You know our goal is to try to make sure that we provide the best benefits for our citizens and provide the best benefit for our employees. And so if the question is do I feel like I have a great relationship with our police department, I believe so,” Seewood says.

Mr. Seewood spoke to reporters following his recent state of the city address. His proposed 2022-2023  budget that was approved by the council increased staffing for Columbia Police, including funding for three airport safety officers, a new police sergeant and a crime scene investigator.

Meantime, a former Columbia mayoral candidate is calling on the city council to support the Columbia Police Department. Randy Minchew will address the city council this evening from the podium. He plans to express his support for CPD and his desire to see the council support them as well. While Minchew won several wards in Columbia’s April 2022 mayoral election, Barbara Buffaloe beat him citywide by about 800 votes. Buffaloe received 8,528 votes to Minchew’s 7,728, and Columbia’s fourth ward provided Mayor Buffaloe’s margin of victory.

Another resident, Christopher Dignan, will also address the council tonight. His presentation is titled “corruption within the police force and Boone County Sheriff’s Department.”

Other speakers tonight plan to address garbage collection, Columbia’s GoCOMO transit system and greenhouse gas production. Tonight’s meeting begins at 7.