COLUMBIA — In an effort to proceed with Police Chief Ken Burton’s plan of geographic policing, the Columbia Police Department on Friday appointed three officers to represent different quarters of Columbia as “de facto chiefs of police.”
Sergeants Krista Shouse-Jones, Ken Gregory and Brian Richenberger were promoted to lieutenant, and “each will be responsible for a quarter of the city, in effect a ‘de facto chief of police’ for that area,” said Deputy Chief Tom Dresner in Friday’s media release.
These officers will be in charge of a smaller area to more effectively combat the most important issues facing residents, such as vandalism. Burton said he believes this system will be more effective in “reaching out to the citizens of the area.”
The quarters will be divided geographically, but are not yet determined. Police captains are trying to decide the most effective way to divide Columbia.
Police will be assigned to these areas and a chain of command will develop, Burton said. These areas will be put together “piece by piece.”
Shouse-Jones joined the Columbia police in July 1997, briefly serving as a community service aide until joining a patrol division in September of that year. In 2004, she served as a juvenile crimes detective until being promoted to sergeant in March of 2006. Her promotion takes effect immediately.
Gregory was hired by the Columbia police in 1992, serving as a patrol officer and narcotics investigator until his promotion to sergeant in 1997, where he supervised night-shift officers and eventually the training division. His promotion will take effect on Oct. 1.
Richenberger began his career with the Columbia police in 1997 as a community service aide and was promoted to police officer in 1998. In 2000 he joined the narcotics unit as an investigator and member of MUSTANG (Mid-Missouri Unified Strike Team and Narcotics Group) until his promotion to sergeant in 2005. He returned to the narcotics unit as a supervisor in 2008. His promotion will take effect on Oct. 1.