COLUMBIA — The Columbia Police Department launched the Columbia Ceasefire Initiative in response to recent shootings in Columbia and the surrounding area, according to a press release.
The purpose of the initiative is "to get individuals involved directly and peripherally in these violent crimes off the streets of Columbia and to prevent any further serious assaults or homicides," according to the release.
The police department, along with its partners in the initiative, put together a list of names and photographs of individuals and associates who are suspected to have been involved in recent shootings and homicides. The department will be contacting individuals, associates and their parents from the list.
The department collected information from victims, witnesses, police reports, calls for service, Crime Stoppers tips and other intelligence sources.
"We have done similar things in the past when gun related crimes rise sharply," said Captain Jill Schlude with the Columbia Police Department, "but this is the first time we are trying to incorporate communicating with the families of those involved."
Schlude also said that detectives and officers assigned to the program will be working overtime.
The release said the initiative is modeled from the Chicago Police Department's "heat list." The "heat list" is made up of fugitives who are linked to people who have been killed.
The press release refers to a study by Yale University that found that "hot people," though they could be charged with minor crimes, are more likely to commit a violent crime or be a victim of a violent crime because of their social ties.
The police department referred to seven shootings from Aug. 21 to Nov. 13.
The Columbia Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division, patrol bureau and traffic, vice narcotics and organized crime units have partnered with the Boone County Sheriff's Department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for the initiative.
Police are asking for the community's assistance in this effort. They encourage residents to contact police or Crime Stoppers with information or to email tips to Detective Jon Logan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supervising editor is Simina Mistreanu.