Columbus PD develop crime prevention tactics

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Law enforcement officers respond to high volumes of crime reports weekly.

In Columbus, officers are working to keep those numbers down to prevent more incidents from happening.

Officers with the Columbus Police Department have investigated nearly 11 shootings in January 2021.

Often, the suspects knew each other.

“These are people that have on-going relationships with issues that combine to serious violence,” said Columbus Police Chief Fred Shelton.

Shelton says his department responds to as many calls. But, it is challenging to cover those hotspots.

“I have the budget for 64 officers. Currently, we’re at 54. We’re short 10 officers. I want to point out we’re not short because we don’t have funding for the police officers. There’s funding for the officers. The issue is trying to recruit officers,” said Shelton.

Shelton says the Columbus City council is allowing officers to work extra shifts to help where needed.

“I have officers that come in on overtime, and they work these high areas where we have high reports of crime. There are eight people on day shift and nine people on the night shift. Columbus divides into five geographical beats,” said Shelton.

Captain Anthony Nelson is the Patrol Commander. He suggests community policing and the Crime Prevention Task Force. It can help monitor suspicious activity where crime usually occurs.

” I can have an officer on every corner in this city. I may not know about what goes on in the neighborhood like the people that live there,” said Nelson.

A vital piece of evidence can come from the person living next door to the suspect. Information given to the officers will be anonymous.

“They can build up a system of trust. If there is trust, people will come out and talk to them. They will give them information about things that go on in their neighborhood. I don’t seem like it’s much, but a lot of time, those small pieces can come together, and we can build off that,” said Nelson.

Even though CPD is looking to fill more uniforms, Shelton says quality over quantity will get the job done.

“We have high visibility in Columbus,” said Shelton.

Chief Shelton tells me anyone interested in recruitment should contact the Columbus Police Department.

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