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Columbia Mayor Barbara Buffaloe (2022 file photo courtesy of city of Columbia's website)

(AUDIO): Columbia’s mayor pushes back against Minchew’s council comments about public safety

Columbia Mayor Barbara Buffaloe (2022 photo courtesy of city of Columbia’s website)

A former Columbia mayoral candidate wants the city council to publicly recognize the danger that CPD officers put themselves in each day.

Businessman Randy Minchew spoke from the podium at last week’s council meeting. He called on those in power “to respond appropriately and not make public statements about city employees before the facts are known about high-profile issues.” Mayor Barbara Buffaloe is pushing back on the comments, telling 939 the Eagle that the majority of Columbia’s city council supports CPD.

“When we had the comments about the incident that we had the video surrounding the incident at Harpo’s, council commented like asking the public to give us pause. Give us the patience to have the process followed. And obviously you know if we saw was what we saw, we don’t encourage you know bad behavior, but we obviously support our good cops, our police department. And right now you have a council that supports and asks questions. But at the end of the day, the majority of us support (the) Columbia Police Department,” Mayor Buffaloe says.

Mr. Minchew is calling on the city council to give CPD and the Columbia Fire Department the tools, equipment and manpower they need to keep the city safe. He says their silence about public safety is, quote, “deafening.” Mayor Buffaloe disagrees.

“That’s not what I’ve heard or what I’ve seen in both the council’s voting as well as the public statements that we’ve put out there acknowledging when we had that shootout at the (Forest Village) apartments after we lost Art’s wife (Janet Jago). You know, the comments about thanking our police department for going out there and putting up with gunfire was there,” says Buffaloe.

Mayor Buffaloe is referring to the May robbery and murder of 72-year-old Janet Jago in the Highlands, and the subsequent standoff at Forest Village apartments. Columbia Police say murder suspect Jermaine Montez Burnett apparently shot and killed himself during the standoff. Police say Burnett fired at them and that they returned fire that day. Ms. Jago was married to Art Jago, a retired Mizzou professor.

While Minchew won several wards in Columbia’s April 2022 mayoral election, Barbara Buffaloe beat him citywide by about 800 votes. The fourth ward provided her margin of victory.

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