Former mayors, council members gather at Keep Columbia Safe rally

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 | 9:06 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The doctor who brought Adam Taylor into the world and the officer who filed the report for the incident in which he could have left it, both showed their support for Taylor and downtown cameras at a Keep Columbia Safe rally.

Former mayors and council members gathered at Bambino's Italian Cafe in support of Proposition 1, which would authorize the police chief to place video cameras downtown.

Keep Columbia Safe is a grassroots public safety organization founded by Taylor's mother, Karen Taylor. He was assaulted last year in the parking garage on Tenth and Cherry streets, and the incident was caught on camera.

Former Sixth Ward Councilman Brian Ash, who owns Bambino's, hosted the event. About 60 people filled the small restaurant.

Attendees spoke passionately about downtown cameras. Among those were:

  • Former Fifth Ward Councilman John John, who, like many others there, wore a white "Keep Columbia Safe" tag. He said he would have supported the initiative when he was in office. "It is imperative on a city to have a viable core, and if people don't feel safe, then they will flee downtown and then businesses will flee downtown," John said.
  • Axie Hindman, who represented her husband, Mayor Darwin Hindman. She said feeling safe is important to the community. "He has supported this issue from the beginning," Axie Hindman said to enthusiastic applause.
  • Columbia firefighter Ryan Adams, sporting a "Fire Fighters for (Bob) McDavid" T-shirt. "It's in the best interest of the public," Adams said. "There's no real downside to it that I can see."
  • Former Circuit Court Judge Ellen Roper. "I was a trial judge for 31 years and I've seen what people do when they're not on camera," Roper said.
  • Columbia Police Officer Jill Wieneke, director of community relations for the Columbia Police Officers Association. She was also the officer who took the report when Adam Taylor was assaulted. "If we can stop one thing like this from happening, in our minds that's a win," Wieneke said.

Adam Taylor thanked those in attendance.

Also in attendance:

  • Former mayors Mary Anne McCollum, Bob Pugh and Bob Smith, as well as Lynda Baumgartner, who represented her father, former Mayor Rodney Smith
  • Former council members Phil Hanson, Sharon Lynch, Larry Schuster, Jim Loveless and Dick Walls, and current Second Ward Councilman Jason Thornhill
  • Boone County Sheriff Dwayne Carey
  • Mayoral candidate Bob McDavid, the doctor who delivered Adam Taylor
  • City council candidates Daryl Dudley, Gary Kespohl and Sarah Read attended, though Read said she neither endorses nor opposes the proposition
  • The Missouri Student Association and CrimeStoppers, who also endorse the initiative

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Ray Shapiro March 16, 2010 | 10:32 p.m.

("Keep Columbia Safe is a grassroots public safety organization founded by Taylor's mother, Karen Taylor.")

It makes me sick to read this.

If this were about keeping all of Columbia Safe then I'd be with you guys and gals in a heart beat.
Instead, you make me ashamed to live in a town that doesn't know how to be a city.

"The District" should be getting funding for this "private venture" via a CID and CPD should be allowed to properly administer a curfew for teenagers.

Money and power seems to breed stupidity.
I'm glad I have neither.

("Community Improvement Districts Defined")

("Lowell is one of more than 200 cities and towns across the country that passed curfews in the 1990s in response to concerns about gang violence and juvenile crime.
Lowell police say they usually don't arrest teens they find out during the curfew hours, but instead drive them home or to the police station, where their parents are called and asked to come pick them up.")

(Report Comment)
John Schultz March 17, 2010 | 12:24 a.m.

Maybe downtown business owners should be more like John Ott, who purchased his own private surveillance cameras for the alley behind Puckett's. Read all about it in the Special Business District meeting minutes of April 8, 2008:

Such a pity that more business owners feel it is incumbent upon the city to make their own property "safe" instead of doing the job themselves.

(Report Comment)
Johnathan Smith March 22, 2010 | 5:47 p.m.

Cameras infringe on personal freedom and raise the threat of a big brother environment! I will vote no. I do not trust government and do not trust people who are willing to sacrifice their freedom for personal security. Columbia is a safe community and people crying about crime need to move to a real city and see what crime is like.

"He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither."
Ben Franklin

The only way to true safety is to deal with the social and educational issues that plague not only Columbia and the USA, but the world!

(Report Comment)

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