Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, left, and Mayor Brian Treece discuss priorities for Columbia

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, left, and Mayor Brian Treece discuss priorities for Columbia and the state Thursday at a news conference in Columbia.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson thinks Columbia is leading the way in combating violent crime.

“I’m going to say Columbia is ahead of the game,” Parson said at a news conference Thursday after meeting with Mayor Brian Treece. “I think they’re in front of this.”

Parson and Treece met at the mayor’s office in city hall as part of a series of stops the governor is making to discuss priorities throughout the state.

Much of the discussion centered on solutions to violent crime. In September alone, six people died in shootings in Columbia.

“I’m a firm believer that one of the ways we’re going to (curb violent crime) is really working with these kids at a much younger age,” Parson said.

Treece and the governor will travel to Springfield on Friday to meet with Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield mayors to talk about crime. Treece said these conversations are key to solving the problem.

“While the challenges facing our communities may look different based on where we live, we know that there are some comprehensive solutions that deal with it,” he said.

The mayor and governor also emphasized ways in which Columbia and the state can partner to improve the economy and transportation. Treece mentioned the replacement of the Interstate 70 bridge at Rocheport and the state’s investment in Columbia Regional Airport.

“There’s so many things that we can work together on,” Treece said.

Both men expressed excitement over job growth in Columbia and in Missouri overall.

Parson said he’s focusing on how to promote the success of cities like Columbia.

“I gotta do a better job as the governor of the state of Missouri to really promote Columbia,” he said.

  • Fall 2019 public life reporter. I am a senior studying international journalism and Spanish.

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