LETTER TO THE EDITOR: To address crime, we need overhaul of Police Department

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 | 3:27 p.m. CDT; updated 3:50 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 10, 2013

In reading town media front-page news, stories address city faith leaders cooperating/steering toward taking this town back from the outbreak of recent crimes.

I would like to respond to these headlines and opinion pieces by saying that cooperation is the key to taking this town back.

I know that on my street constant prayer and peaceful, diligent solutions are (and have been) the only way to go. Police handling has only escalated the trouble.

In fact, we were brutally awakened on Fourth of July night with what looked like a war zone of lights and sounds from fireworks permeating through our bedroom windows.

Call the police? Two years ago, they asked us not to call but said the lawbreaking could continue at that point. They did not get their facts before making that decision. All we could do was endure and not expect anything from the police.

We do not need a task force for crime in this town. We need the resignation of an ineffective police chief. We need to replace/regroup/overhaul the Columbia Police Department, and just let the great officers do their jobs and weed out the ineffective ones.

Brad Nelson would make a great chief, for example. (Check his credentials.) Officer Kyle Lucas or any of the other great officers would make a great assistant chief. They have the communication skills and life experience to work well in this job.

Complete restaffing is needed in CPD Internal Affairs. There's too much "rubber stamping through" there and too fast. (See a recent story in a local paper for this information.)

All promotions within the CPD should have to be approved in a fair, nonpolitical way. Our mayor and City Council have a full load, and the meetings often last past midnight. Maybe a team of faith leaders in this town could volunteer to help out in this, so that only officers of the highest character would be hired and promoted.

Let us continue to pray for our great officers and thank them for everything they do.

Delcia Crockett is an education developer, a writer and composer, a church and community volunteer. She lives in Columbia.

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