In 2015, as apart of the City of Columbia’s 2016–2019 Strategic Plan, the Columbia Police Department expanded its Community Outreach Unit (COU) in hopes to build better relationships with residents. Officers were assigned specific areas of town to get to know the neighbors and understand what problems or concerns the residents have. Now, three years later, the COU has grown to 8 officers, with funding secured for two more officers by next year.
The City Channel sits down with COU supervisors Lt. Geoff Jones and Sgt. Mike Hestir to understand what community policing really means.