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The Columbia Police Department's bullet-resistant Bearcat was struck by gunfire in Sturgeon on June 4, 2024 (photo courtesy of the Columbia Police Officers Association Facebook page)

(LISTEN): Columbia Police Officers Association’s Matt Nichols discusses Columbia’s violent crime and staffing levels on “Wake Up Mid-Missouri”

The Columbia Police Officers Association (CPOA) says staffing shortages and increased violent crime are plaguing officers in the department. The CPOA has issued a Facebook post, which says 2024 is on pace to be the most violent year on record in Columbia. CPOA executive director Matt Nichols joined us live on 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri”. He tells listeners that Columbia has seen ten homicides thus far in 2024, adding that the record number is 15 that was set in 2019. The city has seen four homicides in the past month. That includes two women being shot to death and dumped in a closet, the deadly gun battle in White Castle’s parking lot and an 18-year-old male being shot to death on Rice road. The CPOA says a number of the SWAT team members that responded to Thursday’s deadly standoff at the Links apartments on Clark lane came in during their time off. The CPOA’s Nichols tells listeners that CPD officers are exhausted, and he says Columbia could use a full-time SWAT team. He also discussed the bullet-resistant BearCat, which was struck by gunfire from armed suspects twice last week:

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