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Missouri Governor Mike Parson and Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones (right) discuss police recruitment and retention on April 25, 2022 in Jefferson City (file photo courtesy of the governor's Twitter page)

Jones: Columbia Area Career Center could be key in helping CPD with officer shortage

Missouri Governor Mike Parson and Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones (right) discuss police recruitment and retention on April 25, 2022 in Jefferson City (photo courtesy of the governor’s Twitter page)

Columbia’s police chief says the Columbia Area Career Center (CACC) will help improve CPD’s recruiting through youth career path training.

Chief Geoff Jones tells 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Columbia” that CPD is currently down 23 officers.

“And down the road I think it is very likely that the curriculum at the career center will be very closely aligned with the curriculum at least part of it, that you would get in the police academy, possibly speeding up the time that it takes to go through an academy,” Jones says.

Chief Jones met this week with Missouri Governor Mike Parson at the Capitol to discuss recruitment and retention efforts. Jones says having the career center will allow CPD to better prepare youth to be officers in this environment.

During the “Wake Up Columbia” interview, the chief also addressed the issue of violent crime. Chief Jones says the triple shooting at Silverball downtown on New Year’s Day highlights the importance of stronger sentences for violent crime. He says a small group of people commit the largest volume of violent crime.

“That guy’s on video (at Silverball) shooting three people. He’s a convicted felon and he got 120 days in jail. How does that happen,” says Jones.

The victims at Silverball were shot, as Columbia police were arriving on-scene. You can hear the full interview with Chief Jones here.

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