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Columbia anti-violence task force leaders say it will take 14 months to come up with solutions

Published On: Sep 12 2013 10:41:01 PM CDT

Summer in Columbia included a lot of gun violence and it has sparked an outcry for answers from police and city leaders.

Right now that includes the Youth Anti-Violence Task Force, which meets twice a month.

But the group's recommendations won't be finished until next fall--14 months after the city created the task force.

Councilman and task force facilitator Michael Trapp told ABC 17 News it will take a long time of researching and planning to come up with an effective plan to curb crime.

Trapp said the community rejected a proposal that offered a quicker fix.

"The mayor tried to address that with his property tax proposal to immediately hire 35 new police officers," Trapp said. "There was significant public blowback from that."

Trapp said it is possible the group could have some recommendations in four to five months.

"If we examine the issues quickly, come to a consensus on what are good recommendations, I'm willing to pass those recommendations on to council and I won't drag this out one more day than is necessary," Trapp said.

But what will be done about the current crime while we wait for solutions?

Trapp said the effects of street crimes on residents are small.

"Random street crime--it's pretty low that that's going to impact our lives in any way except emotionally," Trapp said.

He said more people are affected by drunk driving, alcohol and cigarettes, and the community should focus more on trying to solve those problems while the task force works to fix the violent crime.


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